By Audrey Perkins
For Janis Siegel, nine-time Grammy winner and 17-time Grammy nominee, music did not come easy. It’s been a 42-year-long, ongoing career of experiences that brought her to her music of today.
“I was looking for a challenge,” she said. “Jazz is a journey of personal discovery … it’s not just music.”
Made famous by her work with The Manhattan Transfer, a jazz group that rose in popularity in the 1970s, Siegel will be celebrated in a tribute performance hosted by the Jacobs School of Music.
“A Tribute to The Manhattan Transfer” will be featured as IU Vocal Jazz Ensemble’s Fall Concert, beginning at 8 p.m. today in Auer Hall. Siegel will perform with students and faculty and sponsor a master class the same day .
Both the concert and master class are free and open to the public. This will be Siegel’s first time working with IU students.
For those interested in the upcoming master class, Siegel said the session would be broken into two parts. The first half will be more technical. Siegel will listen to individual singers to provide them critiques in hopes of opening them up to tweaking their respective musical styles.
The second half will have a question-and-answer session. She said this portion of the event will be relatively flexible.
In a way, Siegel wants the students to lead the discussion, she said. She wants to hear about students’ interests. With her 42-year-long career, Siegel said there are a lot of subjects to cover.
“I’m not going to write out a list (of discussion subjects),” she said. “That doesn’t sound fun.”
In her opinion, working with students is “very stimulating.”
“The teacher learns things from the students,” Siegel said. “They make you think more.”
Looking back on her start in the music industry, Siegel said the key was to make mistakes. That was how she found her personal voice. Good luck, hard work, listening and the ability to learn from mistakes led to her success, she said.
Above all, for students aiming to break into the music industry, Siegel said they need to be open to new opportunities, even if the beginning doesn’t pay well.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “Sing whenever possible.”
Instead of feeling discouraged at the competitive nature of the industry, Siegel said she challenges upcoming musicians to see the beauty in the competition. Get creative and avoid the traditional route, she said.
“You must think in new ways,” Siegel said. “True talent will definitely prevail … Use your instincts.”
© Indiana Daily Student 2014