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Manhattan Transfer

11the of December 2008

On the 11the of December Samara audience had a unique chance to see legendary Manhattan Transfer perform live in a fascinating show!

It's been nearly thirty-five years since Tim Hauser, a former Madison Avenue marketing executive, paid his bills by driving a New York City cab while aspiring to form a harmony vocal quartet sui generis that could authentically embrace varied musical styles, and still create something wholly unique in the field of American popular song.

Hauser had been in doo-wop groups, folk groups, and even in a short-lived quintet named The Manhattan Transfer, but as the sounds of jazz, R&B, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, salsa and swing poured out of brownstones, Hauser now dreamt of four-part harmonies without limits.

In the Fall of 1972, Hauser's taxi fare was an aspiring young singer named Laurel Massé, who was familiar with the sole album by Hauser’s earlier Manhattan Transfer combo, and was looking to form a group. A few weeks later, another of Hauser’s fares invited him to a party where he met Brooklyn native Janis Siegel; although already in a group, Siegel agreed to help out on some demos and before long she was the third member of The Manhattan Transfer. As Hauser, Massé and Siegel began rehearsing, Massé’s then-boyfriend, who was drumming in a Broadway pit band, introduced Hauser and Siegel to Alan Paul, who was co-starring in the original production of Grease, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In 1974 the group began performing regularly throughout New York City at Trude Hellers, Mercer Arts Center, Max’s Kansas City, Club 82, and other cutting edge cabaret venues. By the end of the year they were the number one live attraction in New York City, prompting Newsweek to send a writer to their show at Reno Sweeney’s in Greenwich Village to report on this growing phenomenon.

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