vocalizing an electric guitar, on stage with the House Jacks, 2006
|Birth name||Kurk Richard Toohey, Jr.|
|Born||December 12, 1967|
|Origin||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Occupation(s)||singer, arranger, composer, director, producer, television producer, and teacher|
|Labels||Tommy Boy Warner Bros. Records, Hot Lips Records, Artelier, Atlantic Records, Sony Music Latin, Epic, Universal Records, Universal Classics|
|Associated acts||The House Jacks, Tufts Beelzebubs, Straight No Chaser, Nota, Committed, Street Corner Symphony|
Deke Sharon (born December 12, 1967) is an American singer, arranger, composer, director, producer and teacher of a cappella music, and is one of the leaders and promoters  of the contemporary a cappella community and a pioneer of the contemporary a cappella style, referred to as "the father of contemporary a cappella" by some authors.
- 1 Early life
- 2 College
- 3 Film
- 4 Television
- 5 Performing career
- 6 Arranging
- 7 Live music direction and production
- 8 Album production
- 9 Event production and promotion
- 10 Organizations
- 11 Writing
- 12 Musical theater
- 13 Education
- 14 Awards
- 15 Other
- 16 Discography
- 17 See also
- 18 Notes
- 19 References
- 20 External links
Deke Sharon was born and raised in San Francisco. He started singing in choirs at age five, including the San Francisco Boys Chorus, in which he toured America and performed with Pavarotti. He attended Town School and San Francisco University High School where he sang in and directed a barbershop and doo-wop quartet all four years.
He spent his college years in Boston, graduating cum laude from Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music  where he studied with Ran Blake, Dominique Eade and Alan Fletcher (composer).
In college, he directed the collegiate a cappella group the Tufts Beelzebubs, transforming the group's sound to reflect modern rock, with intricate instrumental vocalizations  including being the first to integrate vocal percussion. The 1990–1991 Beelzebubs album Foster Street that he directed musically, co-produced and largely arranged is credited with giving birth to the contemporary a cappella sound.
He arranged for The Social Network, and served as music director and arranger for the film Pitch Perfect, starting with a month of "a cappella boot camp", as well as singing on several of the songs (credited on screen as "Male Voice #1").
He returned to make Pitch Perfect 2, (in which he has a brief cameo as the german judge/broadcaster), again commencing with "a cappella boot camp." His work began before the movie, helping to select songs, and continued through arranging to teaching the music, producing the vocal parts on set, and making sure the actresses are properly lip-synching to their own voices. He got several professional a cappella groups and singers involved, including The Filharmonic, Penn Masala, and Pentatonix, and worked with the Green Bay Packers.
In December 2009, he acted as arranger, coach, and consultant behind the scenes on America's first a cappella reality show competition The Sing-Off, and returned in 2010 as one of the show's producers as well as arranger, directing performances by groups like Pentatonix and Home Free, who he convinced to start singing Country music.
Along with The House Jacks, he sang and performed the 2011 Monday Night Football theme song "Are You Ready for Some Football" with Hank Williams, Jr. Sixteen versions were taped, but only a few episodes aired before the song was removed (due to Hank's comments about President Obama).
He appeared in front of the camera for the first time on Lifetime's Pitch Slapped reality show, in which he coached an after school high school a cappella group "Stay Tuned" from Cherry Hill New Jersey, focusing both on their musicality and emotional delivery.
Upon graduation in 1991, he moved back to San Francisco, bringing with him a handful of other collegiate a cappella singers to form The House Jacks, a pioneering a cappella group known for its original music and sound, often called "the original rock band without instruments", in part because they were the first a cappella group with a designated vocal percussionist.
The House Jacks have released seven albums (signed to Warner Brothers/Tommy Boy Records in the mid-1990s) and completed several world tours. He has performed with many musicians, including Ray Charles, Crosby, Stills and Nash and James Brown. They have won "Best Pop Rock Album" from the Contemporary A Cappella Society, for "Unbroken" (2004), "Level" (2010), and "Pollen (2014).
He also performs as a solo artist, with groups such as the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus  and at events like Singapore's "Vocal Edge" and directing DCINY's annual "Total Vocal" at Carnegie Hall 
A prolific (over two thousand a cappella arrangements), award-winning vocal music arranger, he has arranged for some of vocal music's best known groups. The Best Arrangement award at the Colorado Harmony Sweepstakes is named after him, and he has won the best arrangement award at the Harmony Sweepstakes several times between 1991 and 2011. He was named "favorite arranger" in the 2010 A Cappella Community Awards.
Live music direction and production
He founded and directed a cappella groups at Walt Disney World/Epcot (American Vybe) and Disneyland (Groove 66). In 2013 he created a new professional a cappella ensemble in New Mexico: "Voasis". In 2014 and 2015 in music directed the Sing Off Live tour 
As a producer of a cappella recordings, he is known for having changed the sound of collegiate a cappella recording via the Beelzebubs' album Code Red. He has arranged and produced for Atlantic Records' Straight No Chaser.
In the early 1990s, he co-founded The Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) compilation, which he now produces annually with Varsity Vocals.
Event production and promotion
In college he brought the Harmony Sweepstakes to the East Coast, producing the first Boston regional with the Beelzebubs. Shortly after college he founded the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), the West and East Coast A Cappella Summits, and a number of other a cappella-related projects, programs, and events with the goal of popularizing a cappella. Recent festivals include Aca-West in San Francisco and VoiceJam in Arkansas where he often hosts the evening concert or competition as well as teach during the day.
He is a frequent host and emcee at a cappella events, such as Silicon Valley's "Techapella"  "Pacific Harmony" in New Zealand. Some of the videos he has posted to promote a cappella groups around the world have gone viral.
His work to popularize and promote a cappella worldwide is now being recognized by major media: "A Capella (sic) is more popular than ever, thanks to this guy" (NPR Here and Now), "Deke Sharon makes a cappella cool again" (NPR All Things Considered).
"A Cappella Arranging," his first book, co-authored with Dylan Bell, was published in 2012.
"A Cappella," a general interest book covering many aspects of the style, co-authored with Ben Spalding and Brody McDonald, was released in 2015.
"The Heart of Vocal Harmony," about how vocal harmony groups can perform with unified emotion, was released in early 2016.
He has worked on a cappella musical theatre projects including "Street" and "Our World".
He co-founded and directs Camp Acappella for teens and adults each summer  at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio  and teaches the music production class Soup To Nuts periodically. as well as travels to other countries to work with groups in person, such as New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, Sri Lanka and Singapore 
His Youtube channel features a variety of educational topics including how to sound like several different instruments. A GE special features him discussing the physics of a cappella.
The Pitch Perfect soundtrack earned several awards, including a platinum record, the American Music Award for best soundtrack, an Online Film and Television Association nomination for Best Music, Adapted Song (Don't You Forget About Me)  and an MTV Video Music Award for "Best Musical Moment".
As album producer he was nominated for a Dove Award in 2012 (Best Contemporary Gospel Album: Committed).
In 2016 he became one of only twenty honorary members of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1938, was named an honorary member of BYU Vocal Point  and received the lifetime achievement award from CASA.
He is known for his ability to replicate a variety of instruments (e.g. trumpet, guitar, flute, violin, muted trumpet, harmonica) with his voice – which he teaches online and via "Singing Instruments" seminars – teaching summer camp for young vocalists, and adjudicating choral festivals around the world. He has worked with many professional vocal groups, including 98 Degrees, The Nylons and Boyz II Men.
He served on the CASA board for almost twenty years, often as President or Vice President. Acapellablog named him the number-one "a cappella power player to keep an eye on in 2012", and NPR credits him for "making a cappella cool again".
|Fourteen – Tufts Beelzebubs||1989||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Beelzebub Winter Invitational – Tufts Beelzebubs||1990||Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Foster Street – Tufts Beelzebubs||1991||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Sing Naked – House Jacks||1991||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Naked Noise – House Jacks||1994||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Best of College A Cappella||1995-2015||Producer|
|Urban Harmony: R&B A Cappella||1996||Producer|
|Funkwich – House Jacks||1997||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|A Cappella All-Stars: The CARAs||1997-2000||Producer|
|Voices Only: A Cappella Originals||1997||Producer|
|Yearbook: Live from Spring Thing||1997-1998||Producer|
|Best of High School A Cappella||1998-2015||Producer|
|Naked Funk – House Jacks||1999||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Wasting Our Parents' Money: BOCA Humor||1999||Producer|
|Drive – House Jacks||2001||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Next – Tufts Beelzebubs||2001||Arranger, Producer|
|Disney's American Vybe – American Vybe||2001||Music Director, Arranger|
|Punch – Various||2002||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Embodiment – BaSix (Denmark)||2002||Producer|
|Only In America – Peking and the Mystics||2002||Producer|
|Code Red – Tufts Beelzebubs||2003||Arranger, Producer|
|Unbroken – House Jacks||2004||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Fitchy & Grikko – House Jacks||2005||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Udder Won – Moosebutter||2005||Vocalist, Producer|
|Unleash the Periscope – Colorado College Back Row||2006||Producer|
|Get Down Mr. President – House Jacks||2007||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Good Things – House Jacks||2009||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Christmas Cheers – Straight No Chaser||2009||Arranger, Producer|
|The Sing-Off tracks – US Sing-Off Cast, Season 1-5||2009-2014||Arranger, Music Director, Producer|
|Go Nuts – Colorado College Back Row||2010||Producer|
|With A Twist – Straight No Chaser||2010||Arranger, Producer|
|Level – House Jacks||2010||Music Director, Arranger, Vocalist, Producer|
|Nota – Nota||2010||Arranger, Producer|
|Harmonies for the Holidays – Sing-Off Cast, Season Two||2010||Arranger, Producer|
|Best of The Sing-Off Season Two – Sing-Off Cast||2011||Arranger, Music Director, Producer|
|Committed – Committed||2011||Arranger, Producer|
|Songs of the Season – Sing-Off Cast, Season Three||2011||Arranger, Producer|
|Pitch Perfect Soundtrack – Pitch Perfect cast||2012||Arranger, Music Director, Vocalist, Producer|
|Act Accordingly – Gentlemen's Rule||2012||Arranger, Producer|
|Life's So Lyrical – Forte||2012||Arranger, Producer|
|Blackjack – The House Jacks||2012||Arranger, Music Director, Vocalist, Producer|
|Southern Autumn Nostalgia – Street Corner Symphony||2013||Arranger, Producer|
|Pollen – The House Jacks||2014||Arranger, Music Director, Vocalist, Producer|
|Best of BOCA||2014||Producer|
|Pitch Perfect 2 Soundtrack – Pitch Perfect Cast||2015||Arranger, Music Director, Vocalist, Producer|
|Pitch Slapped Live Performances – Stay Tuned||2016||Arranger, Music Director, Producer|
|Vocalosity – Vocalosity Cast||2016||Arranger, Music Director, Vocalist, Producer|
(This list does not include albums with Deke Sharon arrangements but not direction or production.)
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- Denied:1up! Software
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- St. Louis Post-Dispatch Article about new attention to a cappella
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