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Interview:
Anniversaries Are Nebulous For Manhattan Transfer
 


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The Manhattan Transfer are gearing up for a big 35th anniversary tour in 2009.

There’s just one problem — it will actually be the vocal quartet’s 37th year together.

“We haven’t gotten it together yet,” the group’s

Janis Siegel

says with a laugh. “This year is 36 ... but who’s counting. It’s not like we’re reuniting for a 35th anniversary tour or doing a farewell tour or any of that (stuff) people do. We’ve been out there doing it all this time, consistently. “What surprises me is that the time has flown so quickly. It really just has zipped by, honestly. I think the only person who really had an idea that this would last so long was Tim,” Hauser, who put the group together in 1972 in New York. Since then, the group has had a handful of hits, including a Top 10 with a cover of the Ad Libs’ “The Boy From New York City” in 1981 — and explored an adventurous catalog that’s The Manhattan Transfer flipped between pop, jazz, R&B and other styles.

Siegel, 56, says the Transfer is in discussions for its next recording project, a collection of songs by jazz keyboardist Chick Corea.

But the group members also stay busy with their own project, and Siegel herself is in the midst of several, including a guest appearance on Spyro Gyra’s upcoming Christmas album and the female vocal group JaLaLa.

But, she says, the Transfer always takes priority.

“We still have a lot of fun — we really do,” Siegel says. “It’s fun to sing harmony. People love it, respond to it. We’re finding that these days our best audiences are in Europe and Japan — especially Europe.

“The Americans don’t really appreciate their heritage, I think; they just want the latest, the newest, the shiniest thing, the sexiest. But in other places around the world they really love what we do, and we’re happy to take it there.”



The Manhattan Transfer performs at 8 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 7) at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $32.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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