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Show Information
THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER @ SONY HALL

2018-06-20
Showtime: 8PM
Doors Open at 6PM




Show is at Sony Hall

Click on purchase link above or call
the box office at (212) 997 - 5123



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The Manhattan Transfer @ Sony Hall

Beginning with their first performances in the early 1970s, The Manhattan Transfer have become the cornerstones of contemporary music. Originally launched by Tim Hauser in 1969, Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse were the group by 1972. Cheryl Bentyne joined the group in 1979 after Laurel Masse left. Known for their amazing harmony and versatility, incorporating pop, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, swing, symphonic, and a cappella music, the group was signed by the legendary Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records. The group made their recording debut with their self-titled album in 1975. Known primarily as an East Coast cult act, they expanded their following by starring in their own 1975 CBS-TV variety series as a summer replacement for the Cher Bono Show. Starting as an underground group in New York City, The Manhattan Transfer garnered international popularity when “Chanson D’Amour” from the 1976 Coming Out album became a number one hit in Europe.

One of the co-writers on The Junction – the group’s new album which draws inspiration in part from The Transfer’s classic 1975 version of Glenn Miller’s “Tuxedo Junction” — is the group’s new member, bass vocalist Trist Curless. Curless began subbing on the road for the late band founder Tim Hauser in 2013, officially joining after Hauser’s passing in late 2014.

Welcoming Curless – a founding member of famed Los Angeles a cappella group m-pact – to the fold, Janis Siegel (alto), Alan Paul (tenor) and Cheryl Bentyne (soprano) embrace a new dynamic and fresh possibilities for their legendary sound that artfully incorporates his low range into their established blend. The Junction, dedicated to the memory of Hauser, was produced by another master vocalist, five-time Grammy winner Mervyn Warren, a renowned film composer, arranger and producer. Warren, one of the founders of gospel/R&B a cappella legends Take 6, in addition to his intricate vocal arrangements, wrote the album’s first single, the soulful ballad “Sometimes I Do.”

The songs that The Manhattan Transfer chose to record with cool new twists, and Warren’s sparkling vocal arrangements ,perfectly reflect the band’s forward thinking aesthetic. They launch the 10-track set by finding new joy in harmonizing the classic rap of Us3’s early 90’s hip-hop/jazz hit “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” (based on Herbie Hancock’s soul-jazz treasure “Cantaloop Island”), which the quartet fashions into “Cantaloop (Flip Out!)” They also bring newfound pleasures and party energy to the crowd pleaser, “Tequila,” with new lyrics by Paul in a medley with hs original song “The Way of the Booze.” with Paul adding a colorful lyric line he calls “The Way of the Booze”). Balancing these optimistic bursts, are more pointed social commentaries like XTC’s “The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul” and Rickie Lee Jones’ harmonic and dissonant “Ugly Man.”

Defying easy genre categorizations, The Manhattan Transfer became the first act to win Grammy Awards in the pop and jazz categories in one year (1981) for “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” for “Boy From New York City” and “Best Jazz Performance Duo or Group” for “Until I Met You (Corner Pocket).” In 1985, their album Vocalese made history as the single greatest Grammy nominated album in history in one year with 12 nominations. Vocalese earned two 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). This album, which featured jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter, and the Count Basie Orchestra, changed the perception of The Manhattan Transfer from superstar pop artists to formidable jazz singers.

“As our work on The Junction, and the theme of the album reflects — democracy is the fabric of the group, and has been from the beginning,” says Bentyne, who took leave of the group several times while undergoing treatment for Hodgkins’ lymphoma in the early 2010s, but has since made a complete recovery. “We all have a different take on music and appreciate different styles, so each member brings something to the table that is unique. We have tremendous faith in that process. This album is completely us, a true snapshot of who we are right now, having survived so many hardships, but looking forward to exciting new chapters in the band’s story. We all give great credit to our producer Mervyn Warren, without whom this project would not have come together as beautifully as it did. His participation, oversight, brilliant arrangements and production helped us make one of the strongest musical statements ever.”

 

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