Legendary vocal group The Manhattan Transfer are an important part of musical history for over 40 years, winning 10 Grammy Awards as well as being inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
The Manhattan Transfer is comprised of Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Trist Curless, who recently stepped into the shows of the group’s founder, Tim Hauser, after his passing. With worldwide record sales in the millions, the extraordinary group topped the charts consistently for decades with their melodic and jazz infused vocals that bring audiences back year after year and that span generations.
In 1974 the group began performing regularly throughout New York City at Trude Heller’s, Mercer Arts Center, Max’s Kansas City and Club 82. By the end of the year they were the number one live attraction in New York City and were signed to Atlantic Records releasing their self- titled debut album in 1975. Their next two albums, Coming Out and Pastiche, brought them a string of Top 10 hits in Europe and produced a number one hit in Britain and France with Chanson d’Amour.
In 1979, Extensions earned them another smash with Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone. The vocal remake of the classic Birdland became recognised as the group’s anthem, and earned them their first two Grammy Awards, for Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental and Best Arrangement for Voices. In 1981, they became the first group ever to win Grammy Awards in both Pop and Jazz categories in the same year – 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). That was followed by Route 66. The next two years, the group won consecutive Grammy Awards in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group.
The 12 Grammy Awards nominations they received for Vocalese in 1985 made it the single greatest Grammy Award nominated album in one year to date, and cemented the group’s status as one of the most important and innovative vocal groups in the history of popular music. The band’s next studio album, Brasil, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Their Grammy Award wins continued into the 1990s.
The Manhattan Transfer will be supported by Ian Smith and the Delft Big Band. Launched in August 2008 as an initiative by the Department of Social Development and NGO, Cape Outdoor Adventure Service and Training, The Delft Big Band’s objective is to take musically talented youngsters off the streets and give them a focus in life, equipping them with the skills necessary to be professional musicians.
The band consists of 17 musicians and two vocalists led by legendary trumpeter Ian Smith and has developed into one of the most exciting big bands in South Africa. Members of the band have undertaken two tours of Sweden, a tour of France and have performed at the Liverpool Brouhaha Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and locally at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
The Manhattan Transfer will be performing at Teatro, Montecasino in Johannesburg on Friday, 23 and Saturday, 24 September. Presented by Hot 91.9 and Channel24.
For more information, visit www.bigconcerts.co.za.