Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley), heralded by super-producer Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!,” is the quintessential a cappella group and the model for vocal genius.
With an outstanding appearance on CBS’ “Homeward Bound: A Grammy Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon,” Take 6 thrilled the TV audience with a stunning rendition of “Homeless.” A few months later, the phenomenal group did it again; this time with friend Michael McDonald and “Don’t Worry Baby” on a Grammy salute to the Beach Boys.
Next year will bring another recording and brand-new show by this legendary group where the art of the song will meet the art of harmony as the band takes on songs first associated with jazz but then transcended the genre: Rhapsody in Blue, Come Sunday and more.
With 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award and as members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, this musical phenomenon has six virtuosic voices united in crystal clear harmony against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B and pop.
With praise from such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson and the late Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston, the multi-platinum selling sextet has toured across the globe, collaborated across genres and is recognized as the pre-eminent a cappella group in the world.
With its most recent recording “Iconic,” Take 6 emerged on seven Billboard charts simultaneously and has seen its music played all over the country in various formats. In 2022, the legendary group took to Capitol Hill for the event Grammy on the Hill to advocate for musicians’ rights and work.
Take 6 is the original torchbearer. Major public and corporate events remind everyone of this as Take 6 has triumphed among a gathering of stars including Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Nicks and Ne-Yo at Walmart’s 50th anniversary celebration; a sold-out audience and standing ovation at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards, where Take 6 captivated the audience while performing with and honoring legendary singer-songwriter Ben E. King on his classic “Stand by Me.” As a group that knows no musical bounds, Take 6 then brought the house down with a tribute to folk icon Woody Guthrie with “This Land Is Your Land.”
Take 6 has come a long way from the early days at Oakwood College in Alabama, where McKnight formed the group as the Gentleman’s Estate Quartet in 1980. The group eventually became known as Alliance but when the band signed to Reprise Records in 1987, the members found that there was another group with the same name, so Take 6 was born. The group’s self-titled debut CD won over jazz and pop critics, and Take 6 has never slowed down.
What makes the music and the group last this long? The answers are direct and simple: faith, friendship, respect and love of music. From the group’s exceptional Christmas revue to its innovative symphony show, these qualities are at the heart of the Take 6 phenomenon.
Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.