"This jazz quintet puts all kinds of throat sounds to such funky good use that listeners break into applause and - better - feel like dancing."
- Boston Magazine
"...most adventurous and distinctive."
- San Francisco Examiner
"Vox One manages to transform a white-bread classic like 'Edelweiss' into something more surprising, and yes, even funky...a tricky, intelligent arrangement."
Vox One is Paul Pampinella, Paul Stiller, Jodi Jenkins Ainsworth,
Yumiko Matsuoka, and Tom Baskett
Vox One’s evolution from talented Berklee College of Music students to one of the best vocal jazz a cappella groups in the world (and now Berklee professors, all) is one of rock solid jazz chops, experimentation, and a commitment to the music, the listener, and to each other. Founded in 1988, members Jodi Jenkins-Ainsworth (soprano), Yumiko Matsuoka (alto), Paul Stiller (tenor/vocal drums), Paul Pampinella (baritone) and Tom Baskett (bass) have clearly honed their sound and their stage presence through the years, only improving with time. At times, one member or another has gone off to pursue their individual passions, but they’ve come back together with the same lineup, and the listener is luckier for it. Vox One has toured the US and internationally, opening along the way for Ray Charles, Chicago, the Persuasions, The Bobs, The Woody Herman Orchestra, and The Count Basie Orchestra. Jazz is in the DNA of all they do, but you’ll also hear elements of blues, funk, gospel, and folk. Beloved classics and sparkling originals are all done a la Vox One. While lush voicings and complex reharmonizations are stock in trade for the group, improv is also a staple of the Vox One show, where the group deftly creates full songs on the fly. Each improv is a one-time performance, something shared in the moment between audience and performers.
The group has garnered several awards with the releases of their 5 albums, among them "Album of the Year," "Best Jazz Song," and "Best R&B song" (for their second US release "Out There”), by CASA (Contemporary A Cappella Society). Said CASA of their debut album: "Creative arrangements and soulful spark... fabulous lead vocalists, and exquisite blend, a great vocal percussion sound, and lots of class." The San Francisco Examiner called the group "most adventurous and distinctive,” and Boston Magazine said, “This jazz quintet puts all kinds of throat sounds to such funky good use that listeners break into applause and - better - feel like dancing."
Vox One has headlined countless vocal festivals, and it’s in their live show that they really shine. They are musicians’ musicians, able to impress the most seasoned pro as well as high school students. Their energy, humor, and easy rapport with each other are only icing on the cake. A Vox One performance will leave you surprised at all that 5 voices can do, and happy that it’s these 5 that are doing it.
"...as defining an album for vocal jazz as Singers Unlimited 'A Capella' and Take 6's debut album...it's that good."
- Primarily A Cappella
Tom Baskett is regarded by colleagues and students for his dynamic and caring promotion of up-and-coming artists. His 30-year professional career includes credits for numerous international performances and productions in Africa, Asia, Europe and the U.S. His singing and speaking voice is heard in national and international TV, radio and web-based advertising, as well as popular artists’ recordings.
Tom Baskett is a founding member of the globally-regarded vocal ensemble Vox One, whose work is taught and performed at colleges in the U.S. and around the world. At Berklee College of Music and in Greater Boston, he mentors, coaches and directs students in creating performances which move hearts and inspire social change. He currently serves on the Faculty at Berklee, in the Voice Department and within the College's concert production team, Berklee Presents...
As a former pastoral minister, Tom Baskett's teaching joins together spiritual wellness, aspiration, professional integrity, and artistic integration, along with technical proficiency. His protégés includes vocalists appearing on The Voice, American Idol, and The Sing-Off, as well as major productions of Hamilton, The Color Purple, Motown: The Musical, The Lion King; and more.
Jodi Jenkins Ainsworth
Jodi Jenkins Ainsworth is the soprano in Vox One, an award-winning a cappella jazz quintet from the Boston area that formed at Berklee College of Music. Vox One has performed internationally and has opened for Ray Charles, Chicago, the Persuasions, the Bobs, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Count Basie Orchestra. The group earns wide acclaim for their performances and CDs. As a studio singer, Jodi has been heard commercially across the US. She has done radio and television spots for TCBY, Sears, Mother's Cookies and Boston.com and has done international spots for Meiji Confectionary Company, JOMO, Sony and Sharp.
Jodi has been teaching private voice for over 20 years and is currently on faculty as an Professor in the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. She teaches all styles and vocal technique, but specializes in Gospel, R&B, and Jazz. Jodi enjoys working as a clinician/adjudicator with various vocal jazz, a cappella groups and worship teams around the country. She is an active worship leader & pianist and most recently was the worship leader for the East Lexington campus of Grace Chapel, a 5 campus church in the greater Boston area.
Baritone Paul Pampinella grew up singing. As a child in northern New Jersey he made his way into the city on a regular basis as a jingle singer, voicing some of the most popular television and radio ads of 1970’s and 80’s for Oreo, Burger King, Kit Kat, and more. A 1990 graduate of Berklee College of Music, Paul has been an Associate Professor in the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston since 2002. In the several years prior, Paul toured extensively in the States and Japan singing with Vox One and Five O’Clock Shadow. Other projects have included recording and touring with Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica, performing the compositions of Mexico’s “king of space age pop” Juan Garcia Esquivel. Along with Vox One and Five O’Clock shadow, Paul currently lends guitar and vocals to Boston’s Swing era Vintage Vocal Quartet and the contemporary rock duo Stack & Paul.
Paul Stiller is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. He has been on the Ear Training faculty at Berklee since 1995 and has taught Ear Training 1-4, Rhythmic Ear Training, Performance Ear Training for Voice, Voice lessons, and a choral ensemble. Aside from teaching, he has been an active adjudicator and clinician with numerous college and high school groups throughout the U.S. and Japan. He is a founding member, producer, arranger, and vocal percussionist for the a cappella group Vox One, which is comprised of all Berklee faculty. He has opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Dwight Yoakam, Ray Charles, Chicago, and the Woody Herman and Count Basie Orchestras. Commercial work includes Sears, TCBY Treats, State Farm Insurance, Hood Milk, Pontiac/GMC, Superior Coffee, International Trucks, Sharp, and Dr. Pepper. In 2012, Paul received the “Berklee Distinguished Faculty Award”, and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire “2013 Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award”.
Yumiko Matsuoka, originally from Tokyo, Japan, is a graduate of Berklee and a professor in the Ear Training department. She has also taught vocal writing in the Contemporary Writing and Production department. While studying at Berklee Matsuoka founded Vox One to fulfill her dreams of writing for and performing in an a cappella ensemble.
Matsuoka’s arrangements and compositions can be heard on all of Vox One’s albums, her anthology To Every Thing There Is A Season, and on recordings by other a cappella groups around the globe. Recent works include arrangements of the Beatles songs for Houston Chamber Choir, a composition celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death for Stile Antico (UK) and Folger Consort (Washington, DC), as well as chapters on a cappella arranging for A Cappella Perfect Book Advanced, published in Japan. Matsuoka has also written for Japanese TV commercials including Toyota, Sharp, Meiji Seika, and Japan Energy Corporation. Some of her arrangements have been published by the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press and by Edition Kawai in Japan. She is active as a coach and adjudicator, and gives workshops throughout the U.S., Japan and Korea. Since 1998, she has served as an adjunct faculty member for ensemble singing workshops hosted by a New York-based ensemble, the Western Wind. For more information, visit ymymusic.com.