Siegel, Janis, jazz singer; b. N.Y., July 23, 1952. She was a member of the all-girl folk groups Young Generation and Laurel Canyon; she later sang with Jon Hendricks and Bobbie McFerrin, and recorded Ilhan Mimaroglu’s “Prelude No. 16” and “String Quartet No. 4” (1978), both written for her. Siegel became best known as a member of Manhattan Transfer, a vocal quartet devoted to the performance of harmonic arrangements of jazz and popular music for which she sings alto. Formed originally in 1969, the group was reconstructed in 1972 by original member and bass Tim Hauser (b. Troy, N.Y., Dec. 12, 1941) to include Siegel, tenor Alan Paul (b. Newark, N.J., Nov. 23, 1949), and soprano Laurel Masse (b. 1954); Masse was replaced by Cheryl Bentyne (b. Jan. 17, 1954) in 1979. The group produced numerous critically acclaimed recordings. They also created an experimental TV mini-series (1975) and a video, Vocalese Live (1986). They continued to record and tour throughout the 1990s.
Experiment in White (1982); At Home (1988); Short Stories (1990); Slow Hot Wind (1994). manhattantransfer : Manhattan Transfer (1975); Coming Out (1976); Pastiche (1978); Manhattan Transfer Live (1978); Extensions (1979); Mecca for Moderns (1981); Bodies and Souls (1983); Bop Doo-Wop (1984); Vocalese (1985); Brazil (1988).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Lewis Porter