The Manhattan Transfer, the group that blew wide the gates to new standards in vocal harmony 40 years ago, is the headliner for the annual Cal State San Bernardino Jazz Fest on Saturday, June 30, to be held at the university’s Performing Arts Theatre.
The foursome will be preceded by the Martin Brothers and the CSUSB Jazz Ensemble when the evening begins at 7 p.m. The festival, moved from Coussoulis Arena, is sold out.
Since 1972, when The Manhattan Transfer was founded by Tim Hauser, Alan Paul and Janis Siegel, the group has recorded 28 albums, won 10 Grammys and performed with many of the big names in the music industry. It’s done all that with longtime member Cheryl Bentyne. But Bentyne has been sidelined with an acute illness, and while she recovers, Margaret Dorn has stepped in. Dorn has sung with greats such as Boz Scaggs, Diana Ross and Willie Nelson.
In 1981, The Manhattan Transfer was the first group ever to win Grammys in both the pop and jazz categories in the same year. The group earned a record 12 Grammy nominations for its album “Vocalese” in 1985, and both the Playboy and Downbeat magazine jazz polls named TMT the Best Vocal Jazz group for the 1980-1990 decade.
The Manhattan Transfer’s 2003 album, “Couldn’t Be Hotter,” captured the breadth and energy of its live performances. In 2004, the group set aside the keyboards, drums, bass and guitar and sharpened the focus on its chief instrument – the vocal chords – when it released “An Acapella Christmas.” One of TMT’s last releases is its two-CD set, “The Definitive Pop Collection,” a gathering of the group’s greatest hits.
The popular group’s appearance at the annual Cal State San Bernardino Jazz Fest on June 30 is sandwiched by appearances in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
For the CSUSB Jazz Ensemble, its performances have covered black-tie events, jazz fests and jazz competitions. But its biggest gig was when it had the nervous pleasure of being an opening act for blues great B.B. King at a packed Coussoulis Arena in 2009.
For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.