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and the “2023 Worldwide Christmas Special”

Due to the COVID pandemic over the past 2 years and filming the production in Minneapolis with the inclusion of international artists, we are changing the date of the“Worldwide Christmas Special” to December 2023 with the possible inclusion of “The LOVE Special... What the World Needs Now” for Valentine’s Day 2024.

A Word from Our Celebrity Co-Hosts

Alvin Chea
As the bass vocalist if  the 10-time, Grammy winning, Take 6, Alvin is the voice behind Chili’s  “I want my baby back ribs”.
10-time Grammy winner with Take 6
Rosana Eckert
Rosana is the director of vocal jazz at the University of North Texas and recently released her new album, “Sailing Home”.
NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series



Through teaming with Behind The Mic, we’ll schedule a consultation to listen, share, and collaborate on effective campaigns that align with your mission, core values, and global marketing strategies. Contact us at 651.335.5466 or at



Maybebop | Germany

Maybebop is a German male a cappella quartet consisting of founding member Oliver Gies, Jan Malte Bürger, Lukas Teske and Christoph Hiller. The group sings predominantly German-language self-compositions, although it has released cover versions of rock hits such as "Nothing Else Matters", and "Bohemian Rhapsody". In addition, the group has released jazz adaptations of folk and Christmas songs like "Abendlied", "Die Gedanken sind frei" and "Still, Still, Still".




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Afro Blue | Washington D.C.

Afro Blue was formed by Connaitre Miller in the spring of 2002. Now in their 18th year of existence, Afro Blue, the dynamic vocal jazz ensemble from Howard University, has performed to wide critical acclaim.  Singing music similar to the styles of Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, The Manhattan Transfer, and Take 6, while adding their own sound, Afro Blue continues to maintain a standard of excellence from year to year.


Afro Blue



Sambaranda | Brazil

Led by vocalist/arranger Rafael Carneiro, Sambaranda is an a cappella group out of Sao Paulo, Brazil that melds a delicious tropical flavor with the very best of vocal jazz. Their first release was a Christmas album in 2017. It should also be noted that Sambaranda has a generous presence on YouTube. Their latest video—"Vinho de Ponta/Ponta de Areia, was filmed on a Sao Paulo rooftop at sunset, with the sole accompaniment of a finger tracing the rim of a wine glass. The mood is dreamy and transcendent, a rare pleasure to watch and hear.




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Business Casual | California

Business Casual is a five-member a cappella vocal band celebrated for their smart and surprising covers of popular songs. What would Mozart sound like as performed by a salsa band? What if Justin Timberlake was a jazz quartet? Taking inspiration from artists like Postmodern Jukebox and Scary Pockets, Business Casual delights audiences with arrangements of crowd-pleasing tunes. As recent national champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes and VoiceJam competitions, the group performs at venues big and small across the US and overseas.


Business Casual


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7th Element  | Florida

7th Element’s slogan, “It’s all about the 7th Element,” says it all. These six men have accomplished much in their own right, but it’s the Seventh member, the “unseen” one, that is the focal point of the group’s music. 7th Element consists of the four Greene brothers, Curt, Darren, Garth, and Kevin, as well as long-time friends, Marc Dwyer and Dean Dennis. Since its April 1999 inception, the group’s mission is to: First, bring a message of truth through creating a smooth inspirational sound with a mixture of harmonies that draw universal appeal; and second, to inspire and mentor young musicians to continue the a capella musical tradition.


7th Element


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The Blenders  | North Dakota

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, the four members of The Blenders - Tim Kasper, Ryan Lance, Darren Rust, and Allan Rust built their fan base on the strength its a Cappella singing style. The group has toured the U.S. with acts as Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Chicago, The Righteous Brothers, Lou Rawls, and Chuck Berry. They have appeared on a variety of national and regional television shows, including The Arsenio Hall Show, The Today Show, and Crook and Chase on TNN.


The Blenders


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MayTree  | South Korea

Maytree is a professional mixed South Korean a cappella group and has performed concerts on television and radio shows, commercial music, CD recording, and education. Maytree’s own unique color comes from their refined original pieces, delicate arrangements, and powerful vocal drum and harmony. They have been finding ways to make brand-new beautiful sounds with the human voice. 





The Niskas  | Minnesota

Lorie, Kurt, and Terry Niska were the core members of the vocal quintet, Five By Design for 29 years. The artists performed with big bands and hundreds of symphony orchestras including notable performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the National Symphony Orchestra, a holiday tour with the Boston, the Bosphotous Music Festival in Istanbul. The Niskas have produced music videos,  conducted workshops for vocal students, and are advocates for vocal music education.


The Niskas


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OneVoice  | Tennessee

J .D. Frizzell is the Director of Fine Arts and Director of Vocal Music at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, TN, where he is responsible for coordinating all Fine Arts programs. OneVoice has performed at regional, national, and international conventions. Winner of the Integrales Composition Contest, Dr. Frizzell has had many best-selling compositions and arrangements. He is the President of the A Cappella Education Association and the Founder of The National A Cappella Convention.




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Accent  | Sweden, France, England, Canada, USA

In the increasingly popular world of a cappella singing groups, Accent has carved out its own niche. The improbable meeting of Jean-Baptiste (“JB”) Craipeau (France), Simon Åkesson (Sweden), Danny Fong (Canada), Andrew Kesler (Canada), James Rose (United Kingdom), and Evan Sanders (USA), six self-described “jazz vocal nerds,” could have happened only in the age of social media. After becoming long-distance fans of each other’s multi-tracked videos on YouTube, they joined forces in 2011, collaborating online on songs and videos.



Marketing in the Era of COVID

Global Partners and Sponsors
Over the past several years viewers of network television have become accustomed to watching virtual shows with no studio audiences.  It is for this reason Behind The Mic has pushed back the filming of its “Worldwide Christmas Special” to 2023 with a live audience and the possible addition of “The LOVE Special... it’s what the world needs now” for Valentine”s Day 2024.
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Why Film In Minneapolis/St. Paul?
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota have access to some of the finest film production companies and talents in the music business. It’s been home to Judy Garland, Bob Dylan, Prairie Home Companion, the Sounds of Blackness, and Prince. The phrase “Minnesota Nice” has been described as the stereotypical behavior of people raised in Minnesota, to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered.”  

Our mission embraces the positive messaging of human kindness through“fostering global harmony through vocal harmony”. Behind The Mic’s project celebrates diversity, faith, and wisdom of the human spirit through the talents of these extraordinary artists.
Leaders in A Cappella
Along with Alvin Chea (Take 6) and recording artist/educator Rosana Eckert as celebrity co-hosts, we are inviting vocal groups from South Korea, Germany, Sweden, France, England, Brazil, Canada, and the United States to participate in this worldwide special. The Behind The Mic team will consult with your marketing staff in creating unique experiential opportunities.

Vocal harmony groups, whether a cappella or accompanied have a worldwide appeal due to the popularity of television productions including NBC’s The Sing-Off, America’s Got Talent, a cappella artists Pentatonix, Home Free, and the Pitch Perfect movie series. Music educational institutions in schools and universities have been influential in the development of millions of vocal groups, singers, and arrangers.

High School, Colleges, and Pro Groups
Connaitre Miller, vocal jazz professor at Howard University in Washington D.C. leads
Afro Blue, a gospel/jazz ensemble with extraordinary talent beyond their years. High School ensembles are not exempt from exceptional talents. J.D. Frizell, head of choral activities at Briarcrest Christian High School in Memphis, Tennessee is director of OneVoice, one of the world’s leading student ensembles. Frizzell and his students have led major festivals around the world as clinicians. Founded in 2000, South Korea’s MayTree is a professional full-time ensemble that tours throughout Asia and is noted for its exquisite harmonic arrangements.
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Global Marketing
Behind The Mic is a worldwide resource that conducts video interviews with hundreds of celebrity artists, music educators, industry specialists, and pop/jazz vocal harmony groups. Since the 2023 Worldwide Christmas Special includes celebrity co-hosts and international vocal groups. Collaborating with your marketing staff, we offer unconventional global marketing opportunities for brands and network television.

Ministry of Culture
Promotion of the “Worldwide Christmas Special” will be coordinated through the Ministry of Culture in the countries of the participating vocal groups.

Educational Choral/Vocal Organizations
The American Choral Directors Association represents approximately 22,000 choral directors representing over a million singers in the U.S. Likewise, the participating artists have organizations representing their countries constituency. The International Federataion for Choral Music represents choral directors in all countries.
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Alton Accola  artist liaison

Behind The Mic
St. Paul MN USA

“Our gift is giving deserving artists the opportunity to achieve their dreams.”

For 29 years, Accola was the talent booker for the big band vocal quintet, Five By Design. The artists performed with hundreds of symphony orchestras throughout North America. Notable orchestras included the Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and a holiday tour with conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops.

As the founder/artist liaison for Behind The Mic, Accola has filmed interviews with more than  
100 artists, educators, and music industry specialists including Bobby McFerrin, The Hi-Lo’s (Clark Burroughs and Don Shelton), The Lettermen’s Tony Butala, The Manhattan Transfer (Janis Siegel, Alan Paul, and Cheryl Bentyne), Ben Folds, Home Free (winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off), Take 6’s Alvin Chea, and Lee Greenwood. 

A Genuinely Global Event

Partnering with Corporate Brands and Network Television 
The 2023“Worldwide Christmas Special” is a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays and literally reach millions of people in a genuinely global event. Behind The Mic will also collaborate with TPT with  will align with your vision and mission. Join us in making an investment in creating a better world through vocal harmony.

Contact us @ +1 651.335.5466
or email us at
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