Cheryl Bentyne

9T5A2512 copyCheryl Bentyne was born swinging on 2 and 4, Growing up in Mount Vernon, Washington – Cheryl’s father was a local band leader. To this day, she attributes her deep seeded roots in classic jazz and swing to Saturday nights spent to singing with him.  Cheryl’s mother was a bit of a stage mom, driving her to piano lessons and encouraging her to sing with her dad’s band. Singing, something that seemed as natural as breathing out and breathing in, was paving the way for her life… all in this small, rural northwest town!

Graduating early from high school, Cheryl moved south to Seattle – where she joined the campy swing ensemble, The New Deal Rhythm Band. Calling these her “college years,” Cheryl honed her various talents into one big show featuring a Ruby Keeler bit, a little Carmen Miranda and general mayhem with 9 wild swingin’ cats! After 4 years on the road with The New Deal Rhythm Band, she moved to Los Angeles and signed with manager, Linda Friedman. In LA, she attended dance and singing lessons, waitressed, and could be found singing at the Troubadour’s “Hoot Nights” and at the Bla Bla Cafe in Studio City. Then came the fateful day her manager called to ask if she was interested in auditioning for The Manhattan Transfer. Of course the rest (or next 37+ years) is history!

In 1979, Cheryl joined The Manhattan Transfer! She dove head-first into rehearsals and recording Extensions, which establishing the group’s new and electrifying sound ~ garnering their very first Grammy Award for Birdland.  In addition to The Manhattan Transfer’s 10 Grammy Awards – Cheryl also won a shared Grammy with Bobby McFerrin for a vocal experiment of sorts, Another in Night In Tunisia. She also co-wrote the title song and Grammy award-winning, Sassy, for TMT’s self-written album, The Offbeat Of Avenues in 1991.


As a solo artist, Cheryl has been honored to work in the studio with friends and musical heroes alike over the years – recording numerous solo albums on Columbia, King Records (Japan),  Telarc, Summit Records and now ArtistShare.

1992 – Something Cool, produced by the extremely talented, Mark Isham

2003 – Talk of the Town 

2004 – Moonlight Serenade

2004 – Waltz for Debby featuring Kenny Barron and Ray Drummond ~ 2 Swing Journal Awards in Japan

2004 – The Lights Still Burn

2004 – Songs of Our Time

2005 – Let Me Off Uptown a tribute to Anita O’Day

2006 – The Book of Love, featuring lush, stunning string arrangements by Corey Allen

2009 – Cole Porter Songbook 

2011 – The Gershwin Songbook  (re-released on ArtistShare in 2013)

2014 – Let’s Misbehave: The Cole Porter Songbook 

2016 – Lost Love Songs 

2017 – reArrangement of Shadows: The Music of Stephen Sondheim

You may have also heard Cheryl’s unmistakable voice in several films  – appearing on soundtracks for Alan Rudolph’s Mortal Thoughts, A Dangerous Woman, and Dick Tracy (along with Janis Seigel and Lorraine Feather). In 2000 she teamed up with the brilliant playwright, Dennis Deal, and created a Cole Porter review called Dreaming Of Mister Porter. Recently,  her speaking voice has also made its mark – recording her first audio book Little Girl Blue: The Karen Carpenter Story by Randy L. Schmidt.

Cheryl feels there is a great need for music in healing, experiencing this first-hand, on another level while lying in a bed, hooked up to chemo. A two-time cancer survivor, Cheryl is now in remission after having a stem cell transplant!  Her Spa Music album, Blissongs is a “soundtrack for the soul” and is used in several Los Angeles area yoga studios. She hopes to continue and expand the Blissongs line into breathing workshops and collaborations with meditation guides. Her new-found champion is the creator of The Louis and Lucille Armstrong Music Therapy Center in NYC, where she will open the doors to her desire to work in the music therapy world – sharing her firm belief that music can bring comfort to anyone in distress with an illness.

Cheryl’s finest work of art is her daughter, Zoe. Now 21, Zoe is a vastly talented artist/photographer garnering 3 album covers to date: Tierney Sutton’s American Road and her mother’s  Let’s Misbehave and Lost Love Songs.

Cheryl recently put down roots again in the Boston area in her 1838 Farmhouse. Between antiquing on the weekends and coaching singers at a local music school, Cheryl is content and finds balance in her grand old house with her cat, Mabel.

Comments 27

  1. Belated Happy Birthday, Cheryl! You beat me to 57 by 40 days!

    Just saw you last night in Indianapolis and was damn near in tears from everyone’s performance. The opening 2 numbers by Chick were stunning beyond belief – I haven’t a clue how you guys managed to learn tunes that complex, never mind perform them with such beautiful precision. You need to do more of them in your show (if the effort doesn’t totally exhaust you!)

    Unfortunately, I’m already scheduled to be out of town when you come back to Carmel next December. DAMN!!!

    Thanks again for a wonderful evening of shear listening pleasure, and have a good time on the rest of your tour this year.

    Richard Pare

  2. Hi Cheryl…
    “Out damned spot!” remember that line from MacBeth…I was King Duncan…now hows that for a Hoping to catch your show this Oct. in Seattle. I am living in Belllevue these days. Would love to see you and say “hi” if the chance allows….have followed you and the group for years waiting for that very opportunity. I knew even back in high school that you would make it big.

    Much love and break a leg,

    Mr. Bass man from behind you in choir, Will Thornton

  3. LOVE YOUR VOICE! as well as the other partners. i must say i have been in love with THE TRANSFER since1976 . i saw the group in columbus ohio that year istill have the program from the concert. saw you in phoenix 2009 but i missed you in 2011. man am i bummed. if you folks do anything in phoenix this year , , small or large, please NO ONE SINGS LIKE THE TRANSFER. I LOVE YOU. AND ALWAYS WILL SCOT J.

  4. Hii Cheryl. My wife and I (Julie Stewart Lind….who was a year ahead of you at MVHS….I was class of 1970) really enjoyed the show at Jazz Alley. I’m the guy that came up to you from behind (returning from the restroom) as you were waiting to take stage for your solo….sorry if I suprised you. I found out the next day that my father, Ward Lind, worked with your dad at good ol Bert Robinson Hardware in Mount Vernon, back in the day!. Again, thanks for the great show.

  5. Hi Cheryl,
    I am the realtor that sold you your very first home in Venice. I don’t know if you remember me, but I have always been a fan. Much happiness…

  6. Dear Cheryl,
    I am sending you my prayers for a quick recovery – will miss you at The Blue Note this year! But take good care of yourself!
    Best Regards,
    Rick Amaro

  7. Cheryl,

    Missed seeing you so much in Carmel, Indiana last night at the Palladium. The rest of the group were troupers and the New York Voices did a good job filling in, BUT it is not the same without you. Many, many prayers going out for your recovery. Love your voice, your spirit and the vibrancy you bring to the stage.


  8. Hi Cheryl,
    Get well soon. I can’t wait to see you, “TEAR IT UP”, as you ALWAYS do.
    Phil Granito

  9. Both my wife Margaret and I always enjoy the TMT blue note Christmas schedule. A few years back you even sang Santa Baby ( my favorite) for us. We truely missed your presence this year and wish you a speedy and healthy recovery. We hope to see you back on the stage soon.

  10. Dear Cheryl,
    We are Fans of the Manhattan Transfer since about 30 yaers! Tonight we read in the Internet that you
    fall in illnes.We are very sad about it and wish you Healthy and Luck for the Future.
    Thanks for wonderfull Music, thanks for You and the “Manhattan Transfer.
    Carola und Werner

  11. Cheryl, I was so surprised to see that you are on the sick list. I am your cousin Bobbie from Mn. and was planning on getting together with you in March. If you get this message please get ahold of me by e-mail or phone . I’ll be thinking of you and will remember you in my prayers.

  12. Missed you last night at the Detroit concert – my 8TH! Did not know you were ill, many wishes for a full recovery. You 4 have brought joy to my life for the last 40 years, may you continue to work your magic for years to come!

  13. saw you guys 30 years ago at orchestra hall in mpls. saw the doobie bros the night before at the state fair and was a little suprised to see their drummer at your gig. after 30 years and many more concerts yours is still the greatest entertainment i have ever seen. cant wait to see you at the late show saturday night. hope eldorado caddy puts in an appearance. scott 3-9 12

  14. Cheryl has had an amazing recovery.I knew she had been taken ill but not that ill.I was quite shocked to have found out on her blog that it was cancer.She is amazing!I look forward to seeing you all again in concert in London uk.Please come back.

  15. Hi Cheryl,

    I hope your recovery is in good progress, and wish to see you back on stage as soon as possible. Saw you back in 2010 with MT on stage, it was a great experience and a deep inspiration. Wish You all the best….

    Greets from Germany…

  16. Amazing performance of Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right With Me” tonight in Santa Cruz! My first opportunity to see/hear TMT live, and every one of you, together and separately, made it worth it!

    Thanks – come back soon!

  17. Saw you last night in Vancouver – oh my gosh. Have been a fan for years, listen to you often on my iTunes and have seen you on stage a few times – you always amaze. Your performance just made me so happy. Thanks so much! Please come again soon — although, with the size of your tour, I’m sure you’ll all need a looong rest when it’s over! :0)

  18. Hello again Cheryl. Just wanted to tell you again that it was great meeting all of you on my flight from Quebec today. What I didn’t get a chance to share was that I am a cancer survivor too.Non Hodgkin’s Lymph. 14 years this past May. You look great and I hope you continue to feel better everyday. Take care and hope to catch one of your shows when I am not flying the skies. Donna Bishop, FA ExpressJet.

  19. My daughter is screaming! Her first concert is Dec. 8th in Cerritos, CA. She is 8 years old and knows most of all words to The Best Of! Thank you for giving me this chance to show her great music.
    Sharon and Shannon Carlisle. (This will be the 10th time for me to see you all again. I’m honored)

  20. Saw you guys last night in TO! Fantastic… been a fan of yours since college! Love to listen to your harmonies and all the great studio musicians you had on all your albums!! Im a drummer in LA and loved Steve Haas’s playing! I know of him through a band we both play in around LA… …. again, Fantastic show…. brought back many memories!

  21. I have been a fan for too many years to count, less than 40, but over 38. I have had the good fortune to experience the Transfer, twice, when I lived in Northern Az, and you were appearing in Phoenix. Those were the best concerts I have ever attended. I would love to have the opportunity to experience the Transfer live again. I now live in Baton Rouge, La., and do wish you all would appear here. Ms Cheryl, I send my wishes for good health, and keep you in my prayers. You ar my Nightingale Singing in Berkeley Square.

  22. My son has introduced me to Soundcloud and I just found a long lost and much missed album – Bodies and Souls – Wonderful, like hearing old friends, thank you for your musicality, you show us how it should be done…………..

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