In Brazil, the vocal sextet BR6 has often been described as a Brazilian equivalent of Take 6, and that is definitely a valid comparison. BR6, like Take 6, is an a cappella group, and Take 6 is one of their main influences. But the Rio de Janeiro-based Brazilian jazz outfit has plenty of other influences as well, and they range from American influences like the Manhattan Transfer, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and Bobby McFerrin to Brazilian favorites such as Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Bebel Gilberto. Another influence for BR6 is the Swingle Singers, a predominantly French a cappella group that was led by American expatriate Ward Swingle in Paris in the '60s and early ''70s. But even though it is not hard to pinpoint BR6's influences, they are clearly a distinctive group in their own right.
BR6 was formed in 2000, when Crismarie Hackenberg (their only female member) joined forces with five male vocalists: Deco Fiori, Augusto Ordine, Marcelo Caldi, Simô, and Naife Simões. The sextet has performed in both Portuguese (which is the official language of Brazil) and English. Their first album, Musica Popular Brasileira a Cappella, which was recorded in 2002 and 2003 and released on the Biscoito Fino label in Brazil in 2004, was performed entirely in Portuguese. But BR6's album, Here to Stay: Gershwin and Jobim, was performed entirely in English, which was due to the fact that BR6 hoped to increase their exposure in the English-language market. A tribute to George Gershwin and Antonio Carlos Jobim, Here to Stay: Gershwin and Jobim was recorded in late 2006 and early 2007 and was released by NuVisionMusic & Film in the United States during the summer of 2007. ~ Alex Henderson