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Laurel Massé - JPop.com
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Laurel Massé

Laurel Massé

Laurel Massé


Few artists can claim to have started their career in music at the top, but as an original member of the universally-acclaimed quartet The Manhattan Transfer, that is exactly what Laurel Massé did. With her lush, expressive voice, absolute pitch, flawless diction and ready wit, the statuesque redhead left her indelible mark on the group. “I have never forgotten what I learned in my years with Manhattan Transfer,” says Massé, "and I will always cherish the thrill of being part of that wonderful sound.” Read more on Last.fm
Few artists can claim to have started their career in music at the top, but as an original member of the universally-acclaimed quartet The Manhattan Transfer, that is exactly what Laurel Massé did. With her lush, expressive voice, absolute pitch, flawless diction and ready wit, the statuesque redhead left her indelible mark on the group. “I have never forgotten what I learned in my years with Manhattan Transfer,” says Massé, "and I will always cherish the thrill of being part of that wonderful sound.” She toured internationally with the Transfer for seven years, recording four albums (since certified gold and platinum) and the movie soundtrack of Just a Gigolo, which starred David Bowie, Kim Novak, and Marlene Dietrich in her final screen appearance. Massé also made numerous television appearances; her favorites include Mary Tyler Moore’s 1974 television special Mary’s Incredible Dream, and in the Manhattan Transfer Show on CBS TV in 1975.

In 1978, a near-fatal automobile accident cut short her tenure with the group. When she resumed her career after nearly two years of convalescence, it was as a solo artist. Her continuing development as a jazz singer led to the recording of several successful solo albums. The first two, Alone Together and Easy Living, both made the Billboard Jazz charts; the third, Again, was a People magazine pick.

In 1999, wishing to explore her spiritual roots and their influence on her musical life, Massé recorded Feather & Bone, a vocal meditation on the Divine. She says, “Singing and spirituality have been inextricably linked in my life. The Spirit is always present, though sometimes hidden. WIth this project, I hoped to reveal more of what is truly important to me.“ The resulting album was described by the audiophile magazine The Absolute Sound as "a recording of extraordinary musical and sonic value".

As a studio singer, Massé has appeared on CDs by artists of many genres including Tony Trischka, Barry Manilow, percussionist Layne Redmond, songwriter Carol Hall and former Manhattan Transfer cohort Janis Siegel. She appears frequently on television and radio, and was the creator and host of The Laurel Massé Jazz Show which ran for two years on WAMC Northeast Public Radio. In 1997, Massé was invited to join the staff of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason’s Ashokan FIddle and Dance Camp as vocal coach in jazz, western, and swing styles, a position she continues to enjoy. In 2004 she also joined the faculty of The Cabaret Conference at Yale as a master instructor of jazz and cabaret.

As part of her commitment to supporting and collaborating with other singers at all levels of experience, she teaches master classes in song interpretation and improvisation for professionals and amateurs, and comprehensive performance master classes with singer and director Wendy Lane Bailey. In 2004 she was recognized for her contribution to music when she, along with the four current members of The Manhattan Transfer, received the prized "MAC" (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Lifetime Achievement Award. She had also been nominated Major Jazz Artist of 2006 by that same association. Official website: www.laurelmasse.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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