THE SUMMIT: MANHATTAN TRANSFER MEETS TAKE 6 | 7:00PM, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 | MUSIC CONNECTS STAGE IN SCHMIDTCHEN THEATER POWERED BY ATLANTIC CITY ELECTRIC
One of the most compelling musical collaborations on the scene today, The Summit features two iconic vocal harmony groups — Take 6 and The Manhattan Transfer — combining forces for the ultimate blend. Boasting a remarkable 20 Grammy Awards between them (10 each), both veteran ensembles show remarkable empathy in melding voices while delivering spine-tingling renditions of tunes made famous by each group. Unlike other music co-bills or meetings, The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 were not content to sing a set and simply join each other for a finale. Instead they have created musical moments on-stage, singing and performing nearly a dozen songs together during this show. No ordinary double bill, The Summit is a once-in-a-lifetime special event for fans of vocal harmony.
“The way these gentlemen go right to the heart absolutely slayed me the first time I heard them,” said The Manhattan Transfer’s Janis Siegel of her Take 6 colleagues. Added Take 6’s Dave Thomas of The Manhattan Transfer, “They’re the reason we enjoy harmony, they’re the reason why we can say we’re harmony geeks. They’re the reason why we do what we do.”
Now in its 47th year of performing, The Manhattan Transfer was founded by the late Tim Hauser in 1972 in New York City. Charter members included Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Laurel Massé. Singer Cheryl Bentyne replaced Massé in 1979, first appearing on the group’s album Extensions, which won two Grammys for their cover of Weather Report’s “Birdland” (with lyrics by Jon Hendricks. Trist Curless became the newest member of the group following Hauser's passing on October 16, 2014. The Manhattan Transfer became the first act to win Grammy Awards in both pop and jazz categories in one year, 1981: Best Pop Performance for “Boy From New York City” (a cover of the 1964 song by The Ad Libs), and Best Jazz Performance for their vocalese rendition of Count Basie’s “Until I Met You (Corner Pocket).” Their 1985 album Vocalese, featuring jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter and the Count Basie Orchestra, earned 12 Grammy nominations and won two for Best Jazz Vocal Performance and Best Vocal Arrangement for “Another Night in Tunisia.”
Heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet,” Take 6 is the quintessential a cappella group and model for vocal genius. Six virtuosic voices (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) unite in crystal clear harmony against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements and funky grooves. Their intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop has earned praise from such other luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston. Formed on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama in 1980 as The Gentleman’s Estate, they switched the name to Take 6 after signing their first record deal, with Reprise/Warner Bros., in 1987. The group’s 14th album, 2018’s Iconic, was its first to chart at #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart on the strength of their two hit singles — covers of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” and Christopher Cross’ “Sailing.”
The Manhattan Transfer joined Take 6 on their first Summit Tour across the United States from October 2016 through March 2017. They’ve hit the road again and will arrive in Cape May for their first appearance at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival.
From their hot, swinging renditions of Nat “King” Cole’s jivey “Straighten Up and Fly Right” Bobby Troupe’s “Route 66” to their rousing vocalese take on Weather Report’s “Birdland” to their lush vocal blend on “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and a romantic “Like Someone in Love” to their soulful encore of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say,” The Summit will have the audience swinging and swaying in their Exit Zero Jazz Festival debut.