The Manhattan Transfer turns 50: A conversation with founding member Janis Siegel
The Manhattan Transfer was founded 50 years ago as the result of a fortuitous meeting in a New York City cab. Now the group has just released Fifty, an album that revisits some of their biggest hits with new arrangements, as well as covers timeless favorites from George and Ira Gershwin and Brian Wilson, all recorded with the renowned WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne. The legendary vocal quartet is also in the midst of a long (and final?) cross-continental tour of Europe and the U.S.
As The Manhattan Transfer celebrate 50 years of swinging, adding harmony to all our lives, my recent conversation with founding member Janis Siegel was a freewheeling chat about her musical beginnings at age 12 as a guitar playing singer in the trio The Young Generation, how the Transfer came to life, her own musical journeys and the 50th celebration, all while accepting a shipment of crawfish from New Orleans in preparation for Etouffee to be shared with guests the next night.
In December, as part of the Yamaha Concert Series, Janis will also host an upcoming all-star musical celebration of the life of our own Michael Bourne, a musical gift we'll share with WBGO listeners this Holiday season.
Watch our conversation here: