An Intimate Concert

The Manhattan Transfer

'The Junction'

PizzaExpress Live (Holborn)

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.

VIP tickets available (£85) and include: early arrival (30 min before opening time), Meet & Greet, Priority Seating and a glass of Prosecco.

On sale from Saturday 26th May 10 am.

£65.00

Book tickets for The Manhattan Transfer

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.”

“It’s a whole different ball game, but one we feel is still musically very viable and exciting,” Siegel says. Paul adds, “The concept of The Junction is that this is a special meeting place, a junction of merging our four and a half decade musical legacy with something new. It wasn’t exactly a seamless transition because Tim is irreplaceable, and he and Trist are very different singers. We weren’t looking to replace Tim’s unique personality, but found in Trist someone who could add a new element to the group, and take care of the bottom of the quartet with his true bass.” Curless reflects, “My personal desire was that the album would sound like The Manhattan Transfer, keeping what they’ve done, but bringing a new energy that would come naturally with my strengths as an artist, becoming a part of theirs.”

Coinciding with the release of The Junction is a highly anticipated national tour;  and PBS Special titled “The Summit,” which features Take 6 in a dual show.  Part of the public television network’s legendary Soundstage concert series, “The Summit” was taped before a live studio audience at WTTW’s Grainger Studio in Chicago in January 2017. The two groups, which have been touring their richly produced, interactive vocal extravaganza for the past three years, create a unique brotherhood onstage, with songs incorporating their combined 10-part harmony, lively segments including “Battle of the Bands” and a repertoire that includes songs neither band has ever recorded.

“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.”