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The Manhattan Transfer 45th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrating their 45th anniversary in 2017, The Manhattan Transfer continues to set the standard as one of the world’s greatest and most innovative vocal groups. Winners of ten Grammy Awards, with millions of records sold worldwide, this amazing quartet is building upon the extraordinary legacy created by founder Tim Hauser, who organized the four-part harmony group on October 1, 1972 in New York City. Now consisting of Janis Siegel (alto), Alan Paul (tenor), Cheryl Bentyne (soprano), and newcomer Trist Cureless (bass) who replaced Hauser following his passing on October 16, 2014, the group is proud to extend Hauser’s vision more than four decades later.

“45 years. It’s quite amazing,” says Paul. “The idea of Tim Hauser has endured and brought pleasure for so many people,” adds Siegel. “We are proud to still be here through all the changes. We stayed true to ourselves. What The Manhattan Transfer does on stage brings so much joy, sharing music we love.”

Defying categorization, The Manhattan Transfer became the first vocal group to win Grammy Awards in the pop and jazz categories in one year, 1981: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “Boy From New York City” (a cover of the 1964 song by The Ad Libs), and Best Jazz Performance by a Duo or Group for “Until I Met You (Corner Pocket).”

Beginning with their first performances in the early 1970’s, the members of the Vocal Hall of Fame have become cornerstones of contemporary music, known for their amazing versatility, incorporating pop, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, swing, symphonic, and a cappella music. The original group consisted of Hauser, Siegel, Paul, and Laurel Masse. After being signed by the legendary Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records, The Manhattan Transfer made their recording debut with their eponymous album in 1975.

The Manhattan Transfer has sung with many “giants of the music business,” including Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Bette Midler, Phil Collins, B.B. King, Chaka Khan, James Taylor, and Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons.

In 1985, The Manhattan Transfer’s Vocalese made history as the single greatest Grammy nominated album in history in one year with 12 nominations. “It was mindboggling after the pop success we had,” says Paul. Vocalese, which featured jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter, and the Count Basie Orchestra, changed the perception of The Manhattan Transfer. “Now we were accepted as jazz singers for the first time after being pop stars,” says Paul. Vocalese earned two more Grammys: Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group; and Best Vocal Arrangement for Two Or More Voices for “Another Night in Tunisia” (won by Bentyne and Bobby McFerrin).

As The Manhattan Transfer endures with their new lineup, they’re returning to the road for a very special collaboration, joining Take 6 on The Summit Tour across the United States from October 2016 through March 2017. “To be on stage with them is glorious,” says Siegel. “They are all phenomenal people and singers. It is a challenge putting together a show for ten singers. It will be a great experience, them singing our songs, and vice versa. It will be singers having a blast.” “We have been fans of each other for a long time,” adds Paul. “It will be unique and fabulous.”

As the group looks to record their 30th album in 2017, the first new CD in eight years, Bentyne is especially enthusiastic about the future. “We had to work on blending with Trist. Now we are ready. I am really thrilled.” Paul adds, “We are taking who we are, and taking something totally different. Reinventing ourselves, incorporating music from today.” This will be The Manhattan Transfer’s first album with Curless, and Siegel looks forward to new possibilities. “Trist has been a godsend and is an amazing musician. I’m very excited and intrigued about what influences he will bring to the group.”

After 45 years, The Manhattan Transfer continues to raise the bar, and set even higher standards.


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