Meet The Vocal Gumbo Team
Goddess of song, Queen in the kitchen, unofficial spokesperson for Swiffer™ and Brooklyn Gin - there is nothing Janis can't do.
Alongside her career as a founding member of the musical institution - The Manhattan Transfer - Janis has sustained a solo career that has spawned more than a half dozen finely-crafted solo albums and numerous collaborative projects, amassed a large international fan base and garnered consistently high critical praise - nine Grammy awards and seventeen Grammy nominations.
Over the years, Janis’ unmistakable voice has become one of the The Manhattan Transfer’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 NYC, Spice of Life, Ray's Rockhouse, The Shaker Song, and Mystery. She also co-wrote and sang lead on the Grammy-winning Sassy. She's also gained a reputation as a vocal arranger, 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. These days, you can find Janis in the places she loves most - the studio - producing and singing on Vocal Gumbo projects and - the kitchen- whipping up some quarantine cooking delights. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU and continues to teach remotely .
Her tenth solo CD, released on Palmetto Records, is called NightSongs and her three 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 Martin; SOME OTHER TIME, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein with trombonist/singer Nils Landgren with arrangements by Vince Mendoza; and a modern Yiddish songbook entitled MAZEL, which will be released 12/20 with John di Martino and Cantor Daniel Kramer.
Singer/Composer Lauren loves good company and a deadline, forcing art out of every crack and crevice and looking for the beauty and pain in it all.
No stranger to the collaborative arts, Lauren takes her years in New York Voices, her long history as a singer/songwriter, producer and arranger and her love of throwing a light on the magic of the human voice to new heights with Vocal Gumbo. Feasting on her ravenous appetite to create all the time with a platform that is reaching across oceans and highways to do so, VG shines a light on Lauren's many hidden talents over the years and is putting them to good use under one umbrella. A lover of many styles with a knack for assimilation, she is soundly in her lane combining her passion for music, activism and celebrating the vocal arts from all over the world.
Whether on her own highly-acclaimed albums, as a 25-year member of the beloved vocal group New York Voices, or as co-founder of two diverse and inventive supergroups, Moss and JaLaLa, singer/songwriter Lauren has always forged her own path as a performer, composer and improviser. With her latest, A Sleepin’ Bee on her own Dotted i Records, Kinhan once again steers herself in unexpected directions that is at once the first all-standards collection of her career, a loving tribute to legendary vocalist Nancy Wilson, and unmistakably a Lauren Kinhan album – with all the unique perspective and idiosyncratic personality that has come to imply.
Producer, manager and over-thinker, Laurie finds her stride in doing it all while singing in the shower.
Laurie's spent more than a decade traveling the planet and running around backstage with The Manhattan Transfer, Take 6 and New York Voices serving as Tour Manager / Mama Bird, learning an awful lot about harmony.
Prior to her road life, Laurie lived in New York and Chicago - working and playing in the theatre world while doing this, that and the other thing at a myriad of wonderfully random temp / survival jobs.
A proud alumni of Indiana University, she's taken her degree in Theatre & Drama and pretty much just applies it to everyday life - seeking to understand what's actually important and how to make the most of what we've been given. Someday she'll find some time and put her English minor to use and write about it. First she has to learn to swim in this wave of technology and commerce... and wait patiently for the pandemic to pass.
She's grateful to Janis and Lauren for their inspiration, encouragement, voices, faces and occasional kicks in the ass. Music is essential.