When The Manhattan Transfer performs at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on February 1, audience members will hear tunes from the group’s 45 years’ worth of repertoire.
“We’ll sing selections from old albums as well as tunes from our latest album, “The Junction,” which will be released in March,” explains member Janis Siegel. “Our new album is produced by Mervyn Warren, who also did all the vocal arrangements.”
Members of The Manhattan Transfer wrote most of the material on the album, which Siegel describes as eclectic.
“Everyone’s style is represented,” she adds. “There’s swing, bossa nova, dance music and lots of harmony.”
The Manhattan Transfer was founded in 1972 in New York by Tim Hauser, Laurel Massé, Janis Siegel and Alan Paul. Siegel and Paul are still part of the ensemble and now perform with Cheryl Bentyne, who replaced Massé after her car accident in 1978, and Trist Curless, who replaced Hauser after the singer’s death in 2014.
Among The Manhattan Transfer’s many collaborators through the years are Chick Corea, Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, Laura Nyro, James Taylor, Phil Collins and B.B. King.
Performing songs in a variety of musical styles in venues around the world, The Manhattan Transfer has won Grammy awards in pop and jazz categories and released more than two dozen albums. “Vocalese,” which was released in 1985, was nominated for 12 Grammy awards. Grammy awards have been won for a number of songs including Birdland, Boy from New York City and Route 66.
With the release of a new album, Siegel anticipates an increase in concert dates. “We travel to Europe and Japan annually, but as soon as “The Junction” is released, our touring schedule will really ramp up,” she says.