When I asked Sarah Ellen Hughes, lead singer for Sector7 – a vocal quartet plus supporting piano trio – what style of music the quartet sang, the answer was a little vague.
“Kind of souly, funky, a mixture of our own stuff, with lots of different influences”.
“Well, okay. What kind of tunes will you be performing tonight?”
… “You’ll see”.
From left to right: Emma Smith, Shakka Philip, Kwabena Adjepong, Sarah Ellen Hughes
Praised highly by the likes of leading jazz vocalists Claire Martin and Ian Shaw, as well as having sung as the principal vocalist for NYJO, Sarah is known for her superb arrangements of jazz tunes, especially in the vocalese style. After a really successful year in 2010 during which she recorded her new album with Jim Hart, Dave O’Higgins and Ian Shaw, Sarah is now leading a vocal group, Sector7.
I was invited to photograph Sector7’s launch gig at 606 Club in Chelsea, London, which was a sell-out success.
Each of the singers has such enormously different voices in terms of timbre and style, not to mention strong, individual on-stage personalities, but they have such a fabulous chemistry between them and their voices gel really beautifully as a quartet. The audience was clearly bowled-over for the majority of both sets by the sheer joy and talent they were presented with.
As for the styles of music, they ranged from the inspired choice of a Bjork cover to Chick Corea’s Spain; it’s almost a discredit to the impressive fusion of styles to label it merely ‘soul’, ‘funk’, or ‘jazz’.
You can hear their music and learn more about Sector7 on Sarah’s website here: http://www.sarahellenhughes.co.uk/fr_home.cfm
I managed to snatch 5 minutes outside with the group before their soundcheck to grab a quick group shot. (See first shot above.)
And some shots with shoot-through umbrella positioned slightly to camera-left during sound check and rehearsals: