Coming Out



Tuxedo Junction

Billboard magazine, 1976

Laurel Massé and Alan Paul


Morningside College to host vocal jazz concert, workshop

SIOUX CITY | Morningside College will host a vocal jazz concert featuring Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Laurel Massé and vocal performer and educator Lynne Rothrock at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Eppley Auditorium, 3625 Garretson Ave.
Tickets to the concert are $10 for the general public and can be purchased at the door.
Massé, a founding member of Grammy Award-winning vocal group Manhattan Transfer, has toured internationally and recorded several albums throughout her Manhattan Transfer and solo music careers. Two of her solo albums have made the Billboard Jazz charts and another was a People magazine best pick.
Rothrock, a professional singer and entertainer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, tours throughout much of the Midwest with a group called "Divapalooza," a three-woman show featuring music styles from vocal jazz, gospel, to musical theater. She also tours with her husband, Ron Dewitte, who is an Iowa Blues Hall of Fame guitarist.
On Monday, throughout the day, Morningside College will host a jazz workshop for high school jazz choirs from the Siouxland area. Rothrock and Massé will serve as guest clinicians who will critique each jazz choir.The workshop, coordinated by Tim Watson, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Morningside College, will be held in the MacCollin Classroom Building inside the Eppley Fine Arts Building, 3625 Garretson Ave. It is free and open to the public.



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Hidden Treasures II – Songs of Larry Kerchner Gets Raves

Thanksgiving came early on Sunday evening November 3rd at 8:30 pm at Stage 72 (Triad Theater).  A cornucopia of the best lyrics and music by Larry Kerchner was coupled with an A-list group of musicians and the crème de la crème of multiple award-winning singers and stylists from the worlds of Broadway and Cabaret.  The event was a benefit for the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative which creates educational programs, produces national vocal competitions and brings the music of the Great American Songbook to young people and future generations.
Julia Goodwin, the winner of the 2013 Michael Feinstein high school competition and junior ambassador for the initiative sang Mr. Kerchner’s “Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash” (Jimmy Durante’s signature phrase as he ended each episode of his popular television show) with verve, vocal technique and phrasing.  She had a maturity in her voice that belied her young years. Add her name to the list of rising stars.

The “treasures” are hidden no more.  Every song was a gem. The seasonal “Winter in Manhattan” was beautifully realized by the lovely voice of Karen Oberlin, 2013 recipient of the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Donald F. Smith Award.  Broadway star John Bolton (A Christmas Story, The Musical) opened the show with the appropriately titled “It’s The Opening Song!”  The laughing out loud moments: Jeff Harnar’s precise articulation and comic timing in the extremely witty “What’s Your Phobia?” The multi award-winning fabulous Mark Nadler’s over-the-top, hysterical pitch for “A Jewish Christmas”.
Goosebump moments:  Shana Farr, recipient of the 2012 Julie Wilson Award,  singing the haunting “Somewhere in Time”; Stacy Sullivan’s heartbreaking interpretation of “Last Night”;Raissa Katona Bennett’s dedication to “Elizabeth of Long Ago.”   The Salsa Moment withHilary Kole’s “The Gypsy.”  Echoes of the Nashville/Country sound with Erin Cronican’s feisty rendition of “Ring Ring!” and Colleen McHugh with “I Guess I’m Over You.”  Novelty songs like “Unsquare Dance” was given its all by Laurel Masse.  The evening rocked with the toe-tapping, handclapping swinging rhythms delivered with gusto by  Amra-Faye Wright(Velma in Chicago) in “Nasty McJive,” T. Oliver Reid  (currently in After Midnight) with “Home,” and the team of Terese Genecco and Dennis Chiccino belting out “Down at Mama Jones’” and “Uptown”. Then came the piece de resistance. The legendary Marilyn Mayeeffortlessly bringing to life an homage to “Sinatra”. Standing ovations and shouts of Bravo!
All of the arrangements were excellent with the violin virtuosity of Sara Caswell, Dan Grosson drums and percussion, Sean Harkness on guitar, Tom Hubbard on bass, John Gebhart, backup vocals, and on piano the exquisite musical director and accompanist  Hubert “Tex” Arnold.
We give thanks there are so many talented people on this earth and that we were entertained by a select group of them. Congratulations are in order for Michael Feinstein, the musical gifts of Larry Kerchner and for Sandi Durell, producer extraordinaire for making this evening of song an enchanted one.


Hidden Treasures II: Songs of Larry Kerchner

                                   Get Tickets: http://stage72.com/hidden-treasures-2/ 


St. Paul's Church

                                                     October 15, 2013  Laurel Massé  

                                            One Voice: Songs of Sorrow and Celebration

The human voice is oldest musical instrument, and in this program, Laurel Massé returns to the centuries-old wellspring of unaccompanied song. She will be drawing from the traditions of American blues and spirituals, and old English ballads and medieval chant, and offering some surprises along the way. 

Copies of Ms. Massé's CDs Feather and Bone (recorded at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall) and Once in a Million Moons will be available for purchase at the concert; a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the music school programs of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

..."a dizzying, dazzling performance... nothing short of magnificent."   Greg Haymes, Times Union



Laurel Massé ‘05 Received the Distinguished Alumni Award

Vocalist Laurel Massé, founding member of the vocal group Manhattan Transfer, is an internationally recognized solo artist now celebrating her 40th year as a professional singer. She is held in high esteem by audiences, critics and fellow musicians as both a performing and recording artist, and is also a sought-after teacher, speaker and writer.

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. Her numerous television appearances include Mary Tyler Moore’s 1974 television special “Mary’s Incredible Dream” and the “Manhattan Transfer Show” on CBS-TV in 1975.

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 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Lifetime Achievement Award and she was nominated Major Jazz Artist of 2006.

Massé graduated from the college’s Hudson Valley Centerin 2005 with a B.A. in the arts.

College alumni, such as Ben Fernandez, Laurel Massé and Walter Dean Myers, are a cornerstone for the college, and faculty mentors such as Emil Moxey are the bedrock upon which all our success is built,” said former Acting President Meg Benke. “Their achievements highlight the importance of celebrating diversity in our society and the college takes great pride in honoring them.”
"I am very grateful to Empire State College for this honor and for providing me with the opportunity to earn my college degree," said Fernandez.
“ESC opened a door I had long thought to be closed; my mentor, Steve Lewis, guided me through it,” said Massé. “I will always be grateful for the freedom of being encouraged and expected to explore the ideas that mattered to me in a way that I could not have done in a more conventional academic setting."



Roe Jan Library Library Gala

Cabaret Singer Laurel Massé and Mike Schiffer’s Jazz Trio will perform at 100th Anniversary Gala
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library’s 2013 annual fundraising gala will feature cabaret singer Laurel Massé, founding member of The Manhattan Transfer, and instrumental jazz music by the Mike Schiffer trio.
The gala will be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the library’s founding in 1913, and is being billed as “The Birthday Party for the Century.” The event will take place on Saturday, June 8, from 5:00 to 7:30 pm, at Camp Pontiac in West Copake. Gala tickets are $100. Tickets can be ordered online at Roe Jan Library website. Visit www.roejanlibrary.org and click on Special Events.
“The library’s 100th Birthday Gala entertainment is truly special,” says Chair of the Entertainment Committee, Cheryl Jones. “We will have the Mike Schiffer Trio, who did such a fantastic job last year, performing instrumental jazz. And for the showcase cabaret event, the very talented, versatile, witty, and acclaimed Laurel Massé.”
Laurel Massé began her music career as a founding member of the universally acclaimed Manhattan Transfer. She toured internationally with the Transfer for seven years, recording four albums (since, certified gold and platinum) and a movie soundtrack. Numerous television appearances included a 1974 Mary Tyler Moore television special, and the Manhattan Transfer Show in 1975. In 1978, a near-fatal automobile accident cut short her tenure with the group.
When Massé 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 albums. Two of her early solo recordings made the Billboard Jazz charts, and one was a People magazine pick. Her 1999 recording Feather and Bone 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 of many artists and 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.
Ms. Massé has been part of the teaching staff of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason’s Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp since 1997 as vocal coach in jazz, western, and swing styles. In 2004 she also joined the faculty of The International Cabaret Conference at Yale as a master instructor of jazz and cabaret. Nationally and internationally, she teaches master classes in song interpretation, improvisation, and performance for professionals and amateurs, and is also an adjudicator of jazz and show choir competitions.
In 2004 she, along with the four current members of the Manhattan Transfer, received the prized Lifetime Achievement Award of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs. In 2009 she was given the Bistro Award for Best Jazz Vocalist; and the same year, with JaLaLa, a vocal trio formed with Manhattan Transfer colleague Janis Siegel, and Lauren Kinhan of New York Voices, released an all-Mercer recording, That Ol’ Mercer Magic.  Once in a Million Moons, a CD recorded with renowned pianist/arranger Tex Arnold, was released in summer 2012.
Pianist Mike Schiffer, whose trio will be performing instrumental jazz music for the gala event, has been a popular performer in Berkshire venues since 1968.
“Schiffer is one of the most accomplished piano men around, as comfortable with a bunch of traditional Dixieland sidemen, as he is happy and effective improvising by himself for a silent movie, or integrating into a bop-inflected combo for which he provides a solid rhythmic background and some highly inventive solo choruses,” said critic Simon Wainrib of the Berkshire Record.
In addition to the notable performers, the library gala will feature food from area chefs and restaurants, a silent auction (including a large raffle basket), a live auction with guest auctioneer Louis Caropreso, and a slide show of photographs by B. Docktor of library patrons and donors.
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Rt. 22 in Copake, approximately one mile south of the light at the intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call 518-325-4101, or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org.



The Unofficial Website


Laurel Massé in concert!


Laurel with The Manhattan Transfer

Laurel Massé



On November 5, the Theatre at Saint Peters (Home of the York Theatre) Lexington Avenue at 54th Street presented the songs of Larry Kerchner (“Somewhere in Time”) sung by some of today’s most formidable singers: Hilary Kole, Laurel Massé, Kevin SpirtasStacy SullivanJeff HarnarEric Comstock & Barbara FasanoKaren OberlinSidney Myer,Raissa Katona Bennett, Jill O’Hara and a host of others. 
Check out photos from the event below!
The Benefit evening provided funds for two charities that support singers. Michael Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Initiative that brings the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today, to preserve it for future generations by creating vocal competitions nationwide, winners attending the Songbook Vocal Academy and given an opportunity to not only receive scholarship funds to continue their studies, but also appear with Michael on one of his shows. The Mabel Mercer Foundation serves to both perpetuate the memory and spirit of its legendary namesake, Donald F. Smith, and to stimulate and promote public interest in the fragile and endangered world of cabaret.
 Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff

Read more: http://cabaret.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Coverage-Inside-HIDDEN-TREASURES-Benefit-Concert-20121106#ixzz2EmdudVh3




"Hidden Treasures: The Songs of Larry Kerchner"

"Hidden Treasures: The Songs of Larry Kerchner" - A Benefit for Michael Feinstein Songbook Initiative & Mabel Mercer Foundation

Monday, Nov 5 7:00p
Larry Kerchner-songwriter/arranger/producer/Grammy Award Nominee,presents "Hidden Treasures" to benefit Michael Feinstein's American Songbook Initiative & Mabel Mercer Foundation. Broadway & Cabaret Performers scheduled: Ann Hampton Callaway, Kevin Spirtas, Hilary Kole, Laurel Masse, Jill O'Hara, Stacy Sullivan, Eric Comstock/Barbara Fasano, Sidney Myer, LaTanya Hall, Raissa Katona-Bennett, Karen Oberlin, Shana Farr, Eric Rudy, Dennis Chiccino, Sandi Durell, Randie Levine-Miller more

New album "One in a Million Moons" Available Now!

                                     Send a Facebook message to Laurel in Facebook to buy
                                     the new album. http://www.facebook.com/laurel.masse                                                        


BWW Reviews: Manhattan Transfer Without the Testosterone: JaLaLa is 'Ooh La La' at Joe's Pub Read

One summer evening about 37 years ago, I was hanging out in my bedroom when I heard the harmonies of an unfamiliar singing group wafting through the house from the living room television. I was drawn to the sounds and from that moment on I’ve been a huge fan of the innovative vocal stylings of the fantastic foursome known as The Manhattan Transfer.

While the voices of the group’s founder Tim Hauser and fellow male member Alan Paul contributed in making Manhattan Transfer arguably one of the best pop/jazz vocal combos ever, it was the women singersJanis Siegel and Laurel Massé (who was replaced in 1979 by Cheryl Bentyne after Massé suffered a serious accident)—who were the soul of the group and provided its wonderfully distinctive sound. These days, when Siegel isn’t touring with the Transfer gang, she teams with Massé and Lauren Kinhan (from the accomplished vocal group New York Voices) and the three perform as the close-harmony singing group JaLaLa (taken from their first names), basically Manhattan Transfer without the testosterone.

On Friday evening, March 30, Kinhan, Siegel and Massé (left to right in above photo) wowed a packed Joe’s Pub with a tight 75-minute program that was short on patter but long on wonderful harmonic collaboration, reminiscent of the great girl groups from the Boswell Sisters in the 1930 to The Ronettes and The Chiffons in the ‘60s. After opening with the bouncy, jazzy “It’s You” (recorded by the Boswell Sisters), JaLaLa dazzled on two songs from their 2009 CD tribute to Johnny Mercer (That Old Mercer Magic). Siegel took the lead on the sweetly bucolic “Spring, Spring, Spring” from the musical film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, while Laurel led on a funky arrangement of “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby,” the latter featuring terrific instrumental breaks from long-time Manhattan Transfer Musical Director Yaron Gershovsky on piano and Steve Laspina on bass. Matt Kane handled drums and stood out on Dave Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance” when the girls weren’t rhythmically clapping to the jazzy beats and delivering classic vocalese through Larry Kirschner’s lyrics.

The ladies were terrific both individually and together on the intricate Tex Arnold arrangement of an ode-to-marriage medley called “Honeymoon Suite,” which included Kinhan nailing Nellie McKay’s “I Want to Get Married” and Frank Loessers “Never Will I Marry,” Siegel shining on “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm” from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Massé jazzing up Stephen Sondheims “(I’m Not) Getting Married Today,” from Company, and the whole group going country on Dolly Partons “Marry Me.”

After Kinhan took the lead on her arrangement of “Come to Baby, Do” (popularized by Doris Day in the 1940s and Nat King Cole in the ‘50s), the girls joined her for harmonies that give the song a very Manhattan Transfer sound, something they repeated at the end of the show on the bluesy and swinging up-tempo, “It’s Sand, Man.” The mid-set solos were a treat, with Siegel cooing the ballad “Marie,” which she called “the ultimate drunken love song.” Massé followed with a virtuoso acapella/classical scat performance on Bach’s “Minuet” from his “1st Suite for Unaccompanied Cello” (which is on her 2001 CD Feather and Bone), and Kinhan delivered a languid and aching interpretation of George Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy.”

The surprise number of the night had to be JaLaLa’s ¾ time version of Freddy Mercury’s “Killer Queen” (from a Tex Arnold arrangement). At that point it would have been perfectly appropriate to raise a glass to this amazing girl group, take some poetic license with another Queen hit and sing “You Are The Champions.” Killer Queens, indeed.

Read more: http://cabaret.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW-Reviews-Manhattan-Transfer-Without-the-Testosterone-JaLaLa-is-Ooh-La-La-at-Joes-Pub-20120409#ixzz1rYlH96fM


JaLaLa in Minneapolis 4/1/12!!

Photo by Reilly Tillman.


The Old Magic Tour!


CANDY at OneTrueMedia.com