A CAPPELLA TRIO ~ MAYIM
The beloved a cappella trio Mayim is composed of Ariel Thiermann, Jemila Pendleton and Natalie Bridgeman Fields, all born and raised in Santa Cruz.
Mayim is praised for making “vocal music of heartbreaking clarity, music so pure and sublime, close your eyes and you’ll see colors.” (Santa Cruz Sentinel, Nov. 2001). Their three albums, “Mayim”, “Soul Song”, and “Sacred Season”, span their 25 year history as vocal fixtures of the Santa Cruz community.
The trio began their musical careers together while students at Santa Cruz High. But by the time they reached high school, Ariel was already known locally through performing with her mother, children’s music recording artist Linda Arnold, while Jemila and Natalie had performed locally and internationally with the Santa Cruz Peace Child Chorus and Ensemble.
Mayim quickly gained local notoriety performing at First Night Santa Cruz, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, and – in the beginning - weekly gigs at the Malabar Cafe and Gabriella Cafe. They became known for their supremely close and intricate harmonies sung with an innate sense of timing. In 1995, Mayim released a self-titled debut album and was selected to perform at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. In 1996, Mayim embarked on a six week performing tour of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Italy.
In the ensuing years, Mayim performed alongside Compay Segundo and Zap Mama at Villa Montalvo. In 2001, they released their second album “Soul Song” and performed throughout California to sold-out crowds. Soul Song received the runner up award for the “Best Folk/Music From Around the World Album” category from the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Association. Mayim’s third album, “Sacred Season,” was released in December 2005 and features ancient holiday music and their original title track. Mayim received the Gail Rich Award in 2007 for their contribution to the arts in Santa Cruz, California.
When not singing with Mayim, Ariel has established her solo career as a singer-songwriter and vocal coach in Santa Cruz, having released two highly praised solo albums. Jemila is an astrologer based in Campbell, while Natalie is the director of the non-profit Accountability Counsel, based in San Francisco. They sing most often with their children, all 6 of them between the ages of 1 and 6.