The Palm: Cheryl Bentyne (of Manhattan Transfer) in Concert 6/8

The Palm: Cheryl Bentyne (of Manhattan Transfer) in Concert 6/8

Soprano for 10X Grammy Award-winning vocal group to perform at The Palm, Sunday, June 8. Workshops for vocalists Saturday, June 7.

Vocalese is the art of fitting lyrics to recorded instrumental jazz solos and ensemble passages. The Manhattan Transfer formed in 1969, then quickly surfed a wave of ‘70s nostalgia, resurrecting jazz trends from vocalese to boogie-woogie to bop. The quartet went on to record several albums of jazz standards, plus R & B and pop sounds and became among the most popular of the era – and arguably the most talented in its genre since the heyday of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, the trio credited with altering jazz singing forever. (FYI: Jon Hendricks was Guest of Honor at the 2002 Telluride Jazz Celebration.)

Cheryl Bentyne

Cheryl Bentyne

When Cheryl Bentyne joined The Manhattan Transfer as their soprano in 1979, the group really got its mojo working, earning 10 Grammys and becoming the first artists to receive the award in both the pop and jazz categories.

Born in 1954, Bentyne was raised in a musical family. Her father was a swing musician, known as “The Benny Goodman of the Northwest.” Her mother was a part time singer  Bentyne began singing professionally at age 14 with her father’s Dixieland Swing band at the Elks Club. By the time she joined The Manhattan Transfer, her talents expanded to include composing and vocal arranging. Bentyne won a Grammy in 1985 with the legendary Bobby McFerrin for their arrangement of “Another Night in Tunisia” from the group’s Vocalese release.

A recent performance at Vitello’s in LA garnered raves, for one, from LA’s top jazz critic, Don Heckman:

Fully returned to performing action after recovering from a life threatening illness, Cheryl was in peak condition. She had been a dynamic member of the Manhattan Transfer, singing superb vocal harmonies for more than three decades. Since then she has further demonstrated the range of her remarkable singing skills, occasionally as a soloist, more often in a duet format with singer Mark Winkler.

In this performance, she was in the spotlight for the entire show, backed by pianist Rich Eames, bassist Chris Coalangelo and drummer Dave Tull. And the musical interaction was world class, on all levels.

The primary theme that continually flowed through Cheryl’s performance was her consummate skill at musical storytelling. Whether she was swinging hard on an up tempo, leisurely working her way through a touching ballad, or mixing scat phrases with lyrical passages, she was always in complete, intimate contact with the words she was singing, transforming virtually every song into an irresistible musical short story…

Cheryl is a brilliantly engaging performer, inviting her receptive audience into a constantly changing orbit, hard swinging at times, humorous on occasions, musically intimate on ballads,…

Summing up, this was another remarkable and, yes, memorable performance by one of the musical world’s most gifted artists. Like a previous appearance she made at Vitellos, a little over a year ago, it whet the musical appetite for more opportunities to hear Cheryl Bentyne explore the full length and breadth of her bewitching creative talents.”

black dress

Those “bewitching” talents will be on display when Cheryl Bentyne performs at The Palm, Sunday, June 8, 4 p.m.

On Saturday, June 7, Bentyne is offering workshops for vocalists at two sessions: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and afternoon, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m..

Tickets for Bentyne’s concert are $25 for adults; $15 for students.

The workshop costs $100/session and $190 for both. Call 369-5673 or 5674 for details.

For a preview of Cheryl Bentyne’s concert, preview tracks from her album “Talk of the Town” here.

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