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'Jazz Girlz' debuts this weekend

Harmony Fusion Chorus offers jazz narrative and variety of music
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Harmony Fusion Chorus, a local women's a cappella show chorus, kept singing together every week online during quarantine and now the results, "Jazz Girlz," will premiere this Saturday on YouTube.

"Although we were not able to sing together in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, thanks to Zoom calls, we remained fully engaged in learning new music and honing our skills," said Joanne Morrison, chorus board president. "We finally were able to return to in-person rehearsals this fall for our vaccinated members and finished work on our virtual show."

For years the chorus has presented a full musical show featuring quartets, instrumental groups and youth choruses. Due to ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, a live performance seemed unlikely this year, but this did not stop director Barb Vander Putten from finding a way to continue the tradition.

"I'm always fascinated by women who take matters into their own hands," Vander Putten said. "So when I came across an article about women's jazz bands I knew I just had to write a show about it.

"I went down a rabbit hole on the topic, and the chorus jumped in with me, each contributing their own creativity and sense of fun to their videos that we combined to create our first virtual show," she continued. "It is just wonderful."

"Jazz Girlz," written by Vander Putten and chorus member Jenny Gurney, highlights the variety in jazz music performed by the all-women jazz bands of the 1930s and '40s. The video features a narrative of history of the bands, songs performed by the chorus and the quartets With a Twist and Vocal Ease, with a couple holiday songs thrown in.

"We invite you to watch 'Jazz Girlz' on Dec. 18, available on-demand on the Harmony Fusion Chorus YouTube channel," Morrison said. "Enjoy a variety of music, learn some musical history, and have fun with us."

Harmony Fusion Chorus is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International. For more information, visit www.harmonyfusion.org.