Q & A with Choir! Choir! Choir!

Below is the transcript of a Q & A Choir! Choir! Choir!’s Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman filmed for The Lincoln Center to chat about their upcoming show in Fort Collins on October 9th, 2022.

NOBU: How’s it going everybody in Fort Collins? It’s Nobu and Daveed from Choir! Choir! Choir!. I believe you’re getting this emailed through your newsletter and we were sent a whole bunch of questions so we’re going to do a little interview down here and answer any questions you might have about the show we are going to be doing… when?

DAVEED: The 9th of October, so coming up soon.

NOBU: I’m a Choir! Choir! Choir! expert. 

DAVEED: How did Choir! Choir! Choir! get started?

NOBU: Okay, so we’re from Canada and it gets very cold in February. We thought it’d be fun to hang out with our friends who we never see from the month of December and until pretty much April or May, so we invited our friends out to sing. It is as simple as that. We had no idea what we were doing. I’ve never been in a choir before. Daveed as well.

DAVEED: I have, but not really.

NOBU: Not really, so we invited our friends to hang out. It’s really just a hang-out, and things haven’t changed that much since we first started. Get people into a room, get them to sing. We hang out. We have a great time. That’s Choir! Choir! Choir!

DAVEED: That was a good answer.

NOBU: Thank you.

DAVEED: To what do you attribute the success of Choir! Choir! Choir!? 

NOBU: I think the success of Choir Choir Choir mainly rests on my good looks. I’m so good-looking, I know that over video it may not translate as much but in person…

DAVEED: The camera subtracts 50 pounds.

NOBU:  I think it’s the sense of community that people feel in the room. Singing is really the excuse. It’s really just an excuse to hang out and I think that too many times these days we’re just behind a computer, behind our phones. We’re not interacting with people 

DAVEED: Like us, right now.

NOBU: Exactly. But when you get into a room with people, you feel the vibrations of songs you love, or songs that maybe you don’t even know that well. When you get into it, you have a great time and you feel it before you think so it’s really about feeling and you get out of your own head 

DAVEED: You feel, and then you think. Then you feel again.

NOBU: And you think, how great do I feel? How amazing.

DAVEED: (begins singing “What A Feeling” from “Flashdance” by Irene Cara) 

NOBU: Next question!

DAVEED: Next question! What is the driving influence behind why you do what you do and perform as Choir! Choir! Choir!?

NOBU: Daveed, you wanna take this one?

DAVEED: I mean it’s a love of music, a love of being on stage, a love of connecting with people. Making people laugh and celebrating what I think both of us feel as though it is such a strong connective tissue for any community or group of people or even strangers, which is music. Music is a universal language, which sounds hokey but it’s true. There’s something that happens when people just come together around music and that’s what we try to do, to get people to celebrate the greatest songs of all time and to sing them together and laugh and go home feeling great. So, it’s a fun job for us to do. It’s hard and only we can do it (said with some sarcasm). 

NOBU: Daveed can do it even with a tiny head. Look how small his head looks right now.

DAVEED: I’m like Beetlejuice.

NOBU: Alright, next question!

DAVEED: Next question!

NOBU: We’re doing so well!

DAVEED: What do you think draws people to want to perform together as a choir?

NOBU: The thing about Choir! Choir! Choir!…

DAVEED: Alcohol.

NOBU: Well, alcohol is part of it… but it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to drink a drop. You don’t even have to sing that much. You can show up to a choir event and just sit there and barely move your lips, but you will be surrounded by people who are singing. Eventually you’ll be seduced into doing it because it’s just a good feeling.

DAVEED: It’s all about seduction.

NOBU: Yeah, it really is. So come to Choir! Choir! Choir! and be seduced. Next question!

DAVEED: Next question. What makes Choir! Choir! Choir! performances so special compared to other shows.

NOBU: I think it’s super, it’s super organic. It’s never the same people in the room. There’s no auditions to come to Choir! Choir! Choir! so we never know who’s going to be there. It’s full of unexpected moments—you know, you could be at the back of the room and the next thing you know you said something that we’ve heard and I’ve jumped out in the crowd and I’m starting to interview you. And now you’re now on stage singing some song that you had forgotten that you can sing from beginning to end and sharing some deep secret and the whole crowd is supporting you in every second of it. It’s just unexpected. It’s super fun and at the end always sounds good.

DAVEED: Yeah, it’s mostly unscripted. We know where we wanna get to, we know what songs we want to sing over the course of the night, but even that changes on stage because we always go with how the room feels, and what we feel in the moment.

NOBU: It’s really about listening as well. As much as it’s about singing, it’s about being aware of your surroundings and having a great time and connecting with people. We probably have said that about fifteen times by now. Next question!

DAVEED: So what can the audience in Fort Collins expect?

NOBU: A great time! The best night of your lives.

DAVEED:  In Colorado, we’re doing three shows of our epic 80s sing-alongs. We’re so excited. Three nights in a row, and we’re coming to the Fort Collins Lincoln Center to do an epic 80’s sing-along. It’s just so fun. There’s no other way to put it than just fun, It’s the the simplest way of putting it. It’s just a night of fun we have a blast and you will have a blast. If you think you might like it, you’re going to love it.

NOBU: And Daveed’s eating nuts while he’s doing this thing… on stage, he just eats lots of pastrami, so it’s just like an evolution.

DAVEED: Or other salted, cured meats.

NOBU: Next question!

DAVEED: Anything else you want to add about this unique, community singalong experience? I wrote that question.

NOBU: Check out our videos online, go to our Youtube channel: Choir! Choir! Choir! You’re going to see smiling faces, you’re going to see us doing all kinds of different songs over the years. Whatever feeling you get from watching those videos, you’re going to feel in the room. Just come on out and experience it with us. It’s so fun.

DAVEED: It’s the only 80s singalong happening in Fort Collins, I think, that day. Maybe even that week. So, there’s no competition. So you might as well come out.

NOBU: So how do they get tickets? Where do they go?

DAVEED: That’s an easy answer. The answer to that question which makes sense to me is to go to LCTix.com and look for tickets for Choir! Choir! Choir!

NOBU: So we will see you there.

DAVEED: In NoCo! You’re not just Colorado, you’re NoCo! This is Nobu, and you’re NoCo.

NOBU: What’s the date again?

DAVEED: October 9th, which I believe is one of the nights of the week.

NOBU: Okay. That’s everything you have wanted to know. It’s a Sunday night, but we’re going to party like it’s a Friday night. So be there. #Neverstopsinging. See you at Choir! Choir! Choir!

Breaking with Tradition Never Sounded So Good

Founded in 2008, Flor de Toloache started out singing on the subways of New York City as a way to get their name out. Today, New York’s first and only all-female mariachi band is a Grammy Award-winning group that performs to sold-out audiences across the globe. Over the years they have united audiences through music and culture, bringing joy to thousands of people. Soon they will be sharing their unique sound with Northern Colorado audiences when they take The Lincoln Center stage on November 13, 2022.

Shae Fiol, co-founder and co-director of Flor de Toloache, has been with the group since day one. “I started playing the vihuela, a high-pitched guitar-like instrument, to be in the group. Joint co-founder Mireya Ramos inspired me to play mariachi when she came up with the idea to start an all-women group.”

Mariachi has largely been considered a uniquely Mexican sound but Fiol sees it as a much deeper connection around the world. “Mariachi absolutely does not come from one source,” says Fiol. “It is in itself a blend of traditions and varied musical disciplines in Mexico and beyond. It has Cuban, Colombian, European and Aztec influences. So when traditionalists argue and say that Flor de Toloache ‘isn’t mariachi’ it’s not true. We are an expression of mariachi that is new and unique to the region where we are from.”

Fiol goes on to say, “We poured ourselves and our background influences into the music and really let ourselves be inspired by our unique makeup and let it speak through music.”

When most people think about mariachi music they think about an all-male musical ensemble dressed in all black with sombreros. Traditionally, mariachi has been performed by men and is still a male-dominated musical genre.

However, mariachi hasn’t always been this way. “Mariachi started as a violin, guitarra de golpe and harp. It was played in white ‘peasant’ outfits and over time became more flashy. Other instruments were added for a more dramatic sound.” Because of this, Fiol sees mariachi as a continuum and Flor de Toloache is blazing a new path.

The challenges that Flor de Toloache has faced haven’t broken them but instead built them up. “We never gave up. We have been paid less, not paid at all, overlooked, have influenced but not been acknowledged—all of the things that come with being a woman,” says Fiol. “All that to say, we wouldn’t trade our challenges because they made us even less inclined to conform and more steadfast to be true to ourselves and pursue our musical dreams.”

Celebrating mariachi’s rich cultural history seems especially significant during Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month which began in September and runs through October 15. Flor de Toloache fully embraces this yearly opportunity. “We love to celebrate cultures and come together through music. That is usually what this time of year means. It is a time to unite through music and [we] love that we get to bring that joy to people.” 

The talented ensemble is enthusiastic to show off their musical abilities to Fort Collins as well as create relationships and inspire. “I love connecting with people, expressing my heart and leaving people inspired to be creative, to love, to feel and connect with others.” 

Share in Flor de Toloache’s art, culture, heritage and unique sound at The Lincoln Center on November 13, 2022. Tickets start at only $15 and are available at LCtix.com.