While much of the world recognizes Cheryl Bentyne as The Manhattan Transfer’s incomprable “soaring soprano”, this compelling vocalist has a story all her own! Cheryl has enjoyed a long solo career, releasing 10 solo albums and collaborating on numerous other recordings. She has won 2 Swing Journal Awards for Best Vocalist in Japan and a Grammy for her vocal arrangement of Another Night in Tunisia with Bobby McFerrin. She was also nominated for a Grammy for her solo on Vocalese‘s Meet Benny Bailey.
Born on January 17, Cheryl was raised in a musical family. Along with her parents, Cheryl and her three brothers lived in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Her father was a swing musician, known as “The Benny Goodman of the Northwest.” Her mother was a singer, so it was only natural that Cheryl would be interested in music. Her interests included theatre, classical piano – which she studied for seven years – and of course, singing. Singing with her father’s band gave her a lot of great experience early on. When asked about her musical influences, Cheryl says: “My father was a great swing musician, clarinet especially!” Cheryl is often given the clarinet parts in the vocalese tunes the group has done – her voice perfectly suited to be a clarinet.
Upon graduation from high school, Cheryl moved to nearby Seattle and joined The New Deal Rhythm Band, touring the west coast and delighting audiences wherever they went ~ performing everything from Ruby Keeler tap to Carmen Miranda!
In 1979, Cheryl joined The Manhattan Transfer. Her first album with TMT was Extensions, which included the song that would become their trademark anthem, Birdland. With Cheryl, TMT won the first of 10 Grammy Awards for that album! For more than 30 years now, they have recorded albums, toured the world and continue the legacy of four part harmony.
Cheryl’s solo endeavors include releases on the Sony/Columbia, King Records, Telarc, Artistshare and Summit labels – from Cole Porter to . Her interest in Music Therapy is taking her on another journey with her album, Blissongs.
- West Coast Cool w/ Mark Winkler
- The Gershwin Songbook
- Talk of the Town
- Let’s Misbehave – Cole Porter Songbook
- The Book of Love
- Moonlight Serenade
- Lights Still Burn
- New York Sessions
- Songs of Our Time
- Let Me Off Uptown
Cheryl also narrated the Audiobook of Randy L. Schmidt’s Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter.
Cheryl’s personal journey has had its bumps along the way… In 2011, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Two years later, she was then diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After a successful stem cell transplant, she is now happy and healthy in remission!
Cheryl is a very proud and supporting mother to her daughter, Zoe Allen, an artist in Nashville, Tennessee. She also tries to help out at the Cancer Care Center, WeSpark in Sherman Oaks when she’s not touring.