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Perhaps no vocalist of our time possesses a more exquisitely versatile instrument than the Grammy nominated baritone Jubilant Sykes. Mr. Sykes brings a new dimension to the traditional career of the classically trained vocalist by drawing on gospel and jazz influences to deliver performances in differing musical genre that often leaves audiences and critics searching for new superlatives. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was inspired to proclaim, “Jubilant Sykes’ voice is extraordinary. He isn’t merely an outstanding singer, his voice is art at its highest expression.”
Mr. Sykes was honored by the recording industry with a Grammy® nomination for “Best Classical Recording.” That same recording, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone Magazine. Mr. Sykes also has performed with a number of the world’s finest orchestras and opera companies. He has worked with such conductors as Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Andrew Litton, Marin Alsop, David Zinman, John Nelson, John Williams, and the late Marvin Hamlisch. He has been the featured soloist with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra as well as the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, and, the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London.
His unique gifts have taken him from such diverse stages as the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and London’s Barbican Centre to the Apollo Theater, Hollywood Bowl, New Orleans Jazz Festival and hundreds of other venues around the world. His versatility has allowed him to collaborate with a number of leading artists from different musical styles such as the renowned soprano Reneé Fleming in the Mozart Requiem, touring and singing with Julie Andrews, a Boston Pops televised special and tour, appearing as featured soloist on the televised tribute to Brian Wilson from Radio City Music Hall, and with Josh Groban and subsequently Carlos Santana at the Hollywood Bowl.
Jubilant Sykes Sings Copland and Spirituals with the London Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Litton, conducting, was released in 2010 on Arioso Classics. This followed the release of Jubilation for EMI that combined Mr. Sykes with the legendary American classical guitarist, Christopher Parkening. This pairing has drawn such critical acclaim as “. . . the kind of concert a writer holds a few choice adjectives in special reserve for . . . two astonishing musicians.” Mr. Sykes also has released two recordings for Sony BMG Masterworks. The first, Jubilant, brought the singer together with jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard. His crossover recording, Wait for Me, features classic songs by a number of popular composer/entertainers.
Jubilant Sykes recently made his acting debut in the film Carry Me Home with Cuba Gooding, Jr., scheduled for theatrical release in 2014/2015, and performed the lead role in a new play Breath and Imagination presented by Hartford Stage.
Jubilant Sykes resides in Southern California with his wife, Cecelia.
“. . . Sykes is authentically passionate and vocally enthralling, masterfully fusing his classical, jazz and gospel backgrounds . . . a compelling, almost shamanistic power I’ve not heard elsewhere . . .” Opera News