Janis Siegel


1377105_3463237676731_1272280137_nOver the years, Janis’ unmistakable voice has become one of the group’s most recognizable trademarks. She sang lead on some of the Transfer’s biggest hits, such as “Operator,” “Chanson D’Amour,” “Twilight Zone,” “Birdland,” “The Boy from N.Y.C.” “Spice of Life”, ”Ray’s Rockhouse”, “The Shaker Song”, “Mystery”, and  co-wrote and sang lead on the Grammy winning “Sassy”. She also gained a reputation as a vocal arranger by writing five of the charts for the group’s acclaimed masterwork, Vocalese, seven charts for the group’s Grammy-winning album Brasil, and won a Grammy herself in 1980 for her arrangement of “Birdland.” In 1993, she and her Manhattan Transfer colleagues received their honorary doctorates from the Berklee School of Music, and in 1999 they were among the first class of inductees into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

These days, you can find Janis in the place she loves most, the studio, producing various ventures for other artists and singing on a wide array of projects, touring with her trio, teaching at universities and high schools, and paying tribute to her idol Ella Fitzgerald in a new show called “ELLA- A Life in Song.”

2012 found Janis and her Manhattan Transfer partner Alan Paul representing America as teachers and judges for the very first online singing competition in China , “ROCK THE WEB!” The finals of this competition were televised from Beijing.

Her 10th solo CD, released on Palmetto Records, is called “NightSongs” and her two most recent solo collaborations  are “HONEY & AIR” a Brazilian/jazz vocal adventure with her group REQUINTE TRIO, along with percussionist/singer Nanny Assis and pianist John di Martino and “SOME OTHER TIME” a tribute to Leonard Bernstein with trombonist/singer Nils Landgren.

Siegel – who is a life-long resident and lover of Manhattan, feels that some styles are timeless and universal, regardless of prevailing trends. “I think people will always respond to emotion and to great songs sung well,” she says. “When you come down to it, people want to feel something.”

Click Here to buy Requinte Trio’s debut album on iTunes
Requinte Trio – Honey and Air


Click Here to buy Janis’ latest CD on Palmetto Records
NightSongs: A Late Night Interlude

Janis Siegel - NightSongs: A Late Night InterludeClick here to buy Janis’ album Mazel with Cantor Daniel Kramer, John Di Martino 

Comments 42

  1. Loved seeing you all in Phoenix, AZ last night at the Celebrity Theater! 25 yrs ago was the last time we saw you in concert and my 82 yr old mother and I enjoyed the concert so much (she can’t stop talking about it!) Thank you so much for coming back to Phoenix (Celebrity Theater is the best place for concerts!) We will keep a closer eye on your tour dates to be sure another 25 yrs doesn’t go by before seeing you again. Thank you Janice and all of The Manhatten Transfer!

  2. You have by far the best voice i have ever heard and i have follwed you sincemy teens. My granddaughter enjoys your music as well. i have seen you in concert more than 8 times, you and the other transfers have never disappointed. i have all your albums!

  3. I love your voice. I’d like to hear you do “Cry” by Johnny Ray. I bet you’d do a wonderful job of it. Thank you and the others of Manhattan Transfer.

  4. Hi!

    I found a great version on your song “Sassy” performed by a finnish a cappella band Club For Five. I saw a show about five years ago in Helsinki where they opened for you, two of my favourite bands in the world sharing the stage!! Do you have any plans on doing something together in the future?


    Hope you are well,


  5. Hi Janis, TMT has such an international concert schedule, I had resolved myself to never seeing a live performance. When I discovered that you were coming to Boone, NC, 50 miles from my hometown of Shelby, I immediately booked the weekend at the Broyhill Inn and the best seats I could get. TMT ‘s music has always given me great pleasure. I hope I get a chance to tell you in person how much I admire your talent.


  6. Hi Janis,
    I absolutely love your voice and multiple singing styles, as people are so moved by talent like yours! I could not agree with you more with your statement “I think people will always respond to emotion and to great songs sung well,” . Your statement holds such a universal truth regardless of language and culture, as people are so moved by talent like yours! I think it is God given and you have used it so well. I have three little boys and they are quite familiar with your album “AT Home”! Keep up the great work with all of your involvement and we will see you again soon on one of your Southern California appearances!!
    Jeff Tkac Family Bakersfield, California USA

  7. What makes Janis Siegel particularly noteworthy is her versatility. This can be explained rationally. She can sing any style that she propos, and also coordinates perfectly doing harmonies.

    But there is something that can not be measured or weighed. Just feel or not. And this woman makes you feel.

    I have a little story that explains what I’m saying. When Lola Flores debuted in USA, a newspaper published this review: “Not the best singer. Can not dance well. She’s not pretty. Do not miss it.”

  8. Janis
    I learned about jazz while listening to you and the other members of the Manhattan Transfer.
    Thank you for making my world a better place!

  9. Janis,
    Looking so forward to seeing you in Van Wert, OH on Sept 17th. I saw the Transfer over 25 years ago in Muncie, IN and still a show I rate as one of my best. Please try to work in the song “Mystery” if possible. I have reserved a seat for you in row C, (center) stop by and see me. None better than the Transfer, thank you.

  10. Janis,

    Have all the MTM albums and CDs (been a fan a LONG time) and all your solo discs as well. I wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for the hours and hours and HOURS of pleasure you have given me, my soon-to-be-husband (YEAH NY!!!) and our daughter.

    Keep the music coming!!!!!!!!!

  11. Janis,

    My dear, you are truly one of the absolute greatest. In the process of moving, I located my 12 CDs of you folks and have been listening. I can’t tell you how happy I am visiting your website here and finding that you folks are still at it making a wonderful sound that will NEVER be equaled!

    All my best and THANK YOU for countless hours of enjoyment!

    My name is Bubbles Love and have followed The Manhattan Transfer for over 30 years. And I was shocked when i checked up to see if you guys were still singing and YOU ARE! I’m so happy n I hope that I can make it to one of the New York Shows. My 3 year old Grand daughter Alyssa is sitting here with me now listening to the Black And White album. And she loves Alan singing GLORIA and asks for it over and over again! Can’t wait to see you guys sometime in December! I Love The Manhattan Transfer….


  13. I can’t wait to see TMT perform tomorrow here in Newport Beach!! So glad you will be in Orange County.

  14. I was your landlord when you lived in the red house on the corner of camrose and highland that was a long time ago.I got to meet the whole group.I remember the big piano in you living room.Take Care Dennis

  15. Hi janis!

    A friend of mine gave me Manhattan Transfer’s “Swing”. I’ll love her forever for that! I can’t tell you how MANY times a week I listen to it. I put my headphones on and go into a world of my own!

    I do have something funny to tell you, though. The first time I played “Swing” on a regular CD player, my cats jumped out of their skin the moment they heard your voice go really high! You should have seen their faces! They were totally perplexed! It was hilarious! It took them awhile to get used to it. Now, THEY’RE HOOKED ON “SWING”! 🙂

    Anyway, thank you (and the other terrific members of Manhattan Transfer) for so many hours of PURE pleasure! May our Lord, Jesus, bless you ALL! Oh! AndI love your site!

  16. Janis,

    It was great seeing you, Alan and Tim last night at the Palladium. I can’t wait until the group is back together again. Love hearing you sing…always amazing.


  17. Hi Janis

    My wife Wendy and I are so looking forward to seeing you again in Markham on April 17. We will be in the front row enjoying MT’s amazing harmonies and vocal arrangements.
    All the best

  18. Your performance today in Houston was fantastic, as usual. Thanks for being so engaging with our little girl. You asked her if she was enjoying the show and she said “Yes mam”.
    She loves singing and the stage and you are an inspiration to her. It was her first MT performance, my wife’s 3rd and my umpteenth time to see you. Her parents were fortunate to have the gift of music in our lives as kids and we’re trying to pass it on.

    In awe as always,

  19. Janis,

    You astonish me. Anytime I want to feel touched by something “good” I scan the net for a Siegel video not yet seen. Your presence to live in the moment and interpret its beauty to your audience is timeless. Like the scent of a blossom on a warm summer breeze, your essence forces pause to take a short vacation within oneself. Thanks for being you…


  20. A fan of TMT since the early 80’s, I never had an opportunity to see a live performance over the years. then about 3 months ago, I was just surfing around on Ticketmaster, plugging in names of artists to see if they were still doing concerts and I typed in Manhattan Transfer and POP – there it was – a performance in June in Boston, just 15 miles away. One off the bucket list and what a great one it was. I loved the whole evening, but for some reason, you especially shined last night. A great evening….Thanks.


  21. You recently played a show at Sculler’s Jazz Club in Boston. I’m sorry I haven’t written you sooner. You gave me one of my favorite musical memories when you came to sing at my table. I feel I know Birdland as well as you! It was a real thrill to have you so close and feeling the tune I have loved for years. Thank You! Please keep making that music! It is a lifeline for so many!

  22. Just got home from your Napa concert. I was the one hanging around the bus. I didn’t get to tell you how awesome you are so let me say it here… You’re awesome! Have a great tour and come back to Calofornia again please. Can never get enough of TMT!

  23. I’ve been fortunate to see you in California twice this year! In Oakland at Yoshi’s and last night at the Uptown Theater in Napa. I’ve been following the group for probably 30 of your 40 years together (Happy Anniversary by the way) and you guys just keep getting better and better. My favorite will probably always be The Boy From New York City, yet it’s all good. Thanks for not one but two special evenings this year. You are totally awesome! Come back to California as soon as you can— we love you here.

  24. So blessed to see/hear you all perform tonight in Santa Cruz. I don’t know why nobody made that number famous, either. But if you keep singing it, it won’t belong before that’s no longer true!

    Thanks for a great evening!

  25. Wonderful night in Shanghai 2012-10-27,the best show i saw ever.
    Love u and all people in this team. have a goooood day and night ,and wish u come Shanghai again 🙂

  26. Can’t wait to see my 8 year old to see you and the rest in Cerritos, CA on Dec. 8th for her first concert. She will be singing along. She loves The Manhattan Transfer sound. Now screaming in excitement.
    Sharon and Shannon Carlisle

  27. Always enjoyed listening to your music . It has been awhile since I last heard you while sitting in front of your MOM at Westbury Music Fair . Before that you beat me at ping pong at Sleep-away camp Nimrod. If memory serves me right , small chance but wasn’t it Madison High School ? Going to watch a MT DVD.
    Continued success and Health and Happiness.
    Rob Feldman

  28. Hi Janis, i was at the Shanghai Music Hall on Oct.27th, & i was so lucky to have benn there … I’ve watched some of your live comcerts in various countries, but i think the Shanghai gig was the best sound ever captured in a live performance by The Manhattan Transfer! your solo performances & the rest of the guys sounds great! I’m an avid fan of the group since the late seventies – to the present! We’re hoping of a return engagement here next yr. BTW, the Band (trio) were awesome ! pls kindly post their names on this web if you may, ‘apppreciate it much if you’ll do as a favor!

    thanks, Jeun

  29. Hellooooooo Ms. Janis. Saw the group first in Anaheim,CA. Came in on a bus, sang, went out on a bus. Boy were we young then. There was no doubt that the group was going to be as big, if not bigger then The Four Fresmen. I fell madly in love with Janis Siegal, well maybe a young man’s crush. Saw the group again in Santa Barbara, you looked fantastic, of course the group was cooking.
    Glad to hear Ms. Cheyl is doing fine. Just got the Japan 86 concert and played it for my College Class I teach. They gave the group a standing ovation and were on their feet during the last number. The Business School Dean was rather mad about the video not being part of the course, then he borrowed the video and has not retuned it.
    My best to the group and keep rocking…….

  30. Janis,
    You are an inspiration to my daughters, and to my elementary music students. I teach them all to practice excellence and you clearly show what can come of focus, heart, and individualism. Thank you for your vocal expression.

  31. Hi, Janis.

    I am a huge fan and I have award-winning songs that I believe would be perfect for you if you’re looking for fresh material. Would you please let me know if there is a way that I may send my originals for consideration?

    Thank you.

    Gail Marten

    Some reviews:

    “. . . original jazz tunes that harken back to the standards of the ’30s and ’40s while maintaining a very contemporary feel and sensibility. Marten is an adept lyricist, pulling interesting little rhymes out of unusual places. You don’t often see wordplay like this unless you’re reading the lyrics of the likes of Porter or Kern. The tunes underpin the lyrics, bringing a laid back vibe to each song (even the up-tempo ones) and serving to enhance the effectiveness of the words. Summary: This is really an example of . . . jazz with intelligence.” – Jeremiah Sutherland, Bull Frog Music

    “Who Would Know” and “Pure Joy” remind me of the sophisticated, urbane style of Cole Porter. On “Pure Joy,” . . . your words and ending are brilliant. “Her Point of View” . . . I do know a person with insight and sense of humor wrote this song. The rest of the songs are ALL wonderful, especially “Shades of Blue” and “Is It Love.” Great songs. But you know, every once in a while a song comes along that has it ALL. Music, words, arrangement, performance and that special ambience or feeling that sets IT apart. In your last CD, in my view, that song was “Sunday Rain.” In my opinion on this CD, that special song is “DREAM WITH ME.” This is a Love Anthem. A Magic Carpet Ride that takes you somewhere between the places that you remember and the ones you forget. It touches your memories and tugs at your heart.” – F.S. Koiner, The Spotlite

    “Marten proves her phenomenal talent in songs penned by others, but she also shines in “Reinventing Me,” a song that she wrote that offers a kind of tongue-in-cheek perspective of a woman who reinvents herself for a man, from slimming down and dying her hair to getting Botox. It’s a fun, upbeat song in which she promises that all the collagen and hair dye can’t prevent her from being herself, with lyrics that prove this singer is both wise and clever on top of her passion and raw talent.” – Skope Magazine

    “Big Girl Blues,” a catchy blues with a first-person, tongue-in-cheek lyric from a bodacious, sassy woman (“I pay my own damn bills and find my own cheap thrills . . .”) that offers a reluctant disclaimer at the end. (“If some big boy would come along and help me sing my song . . . he’d cut this big girl down to size.”) The artist captivated us, skillfully weaving her program with her songs of love, meaningful messages and wry humor.” – Baltimore Jazz Alliance

    “If you have ever been in love, you will identify with the lyrics to the title song. The uncertainty of love – “Are you mine, really mine, Or someone else’s baby?” The passionate emotional liability – Am I high, Am I low? Should I stay, Should I go? The adventure of it all – Should I care? Do I dare? By the time the song was over, I was in the throes of loving memories. And before you can catch your breath, you’re plunged into “Who Would Know?” Who would know / Who would care / Love and war / All is fair.” Give me a break, I’m outta breath and thinking room! “Just Before Dawn,” reminds us of beauty of “l’alba,” the dawn of which poets write. “Moon will soon surrender/To the early morning splendor/I’ve tossed and turned another sleepless night / Wondering what went wrong and who was right.” Not over the top, but right on! Each and every lyric, in each and every song, every turn of a lyric, is connected one to the other, and lays out a suite of epos – an epic theme – love! This group of emotional love anthems will not necessarily help you through a love affair, but will make it easier to understand what is going on. Thank-you for the occasional respite from charged words—Ehoff’s piano, while omnipresent, does not overly dominate, and provides the “ride” for what we are taking in of the organic whole. A keyboard musical lover in love. As Gail, Clem and the trio swan through each and every aspect of the love experience, they ultimately arrive at the apex—Close your eyes and dream a dream with me / At the end of day / Catch a cloud and float above the earth / Sail the Milky Way. Not satisfied with winging us along with all of this lyrical and musical beauty, we all become immersed in: Skies ablaze with setting sun / Farewell to yesterday / Twilight beckons to the moon / Purple shadows paint the way. Is It Love? An opus of endearing proportions; a CD for morning, noon and night in Nirvana.” – Anthony Agostinelli, Jazz Newsletter

  32. Hey Janis, I sit here in Germany listening to your music which calms me down in this awful times and let me think who you do feel in New York at this moment. I hope your sane. All the best.

  33. Hey Janis, Been thinking of you with the desperate situation in NY….hope all is well for you and the guys and hope I can get out to see you as soon as things calm down. Miss you guys! Randy

  34. You guys absolutely crushed it at the Hollywood Bowl tonight! Your solo on Birdland was unreal. You are legends thank you for everything you do. Got back to my car and Sidewinder was on the radio. That was cool too 🙂

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  36. I own Kreiselman Music Publishing. I handle the song catalog of my late grandfather, composer, Irving Weiser. He composed the song, ‘There I Go’, which was #1 for three consecutive weeks in December, 1940. Such notable performers as Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Glenn Miller, and Dinah Washington covered his songs. There are numerous songs on my website written by my grandfather from the late 1930s through the late 1970s. He composed in a wide variety of styles. If, individually, or as a group, you are looking for new material, please take a listen. Many thanks for your time.


  38. Post

    Hi Holly –
    I think you’re referring to Janis’ multicolored shut with the faces on it? She got it at a shop in NYC called Z Crave.
    Thanks so much for listening!

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