As Bobby McFerrin 1988 sprayed optimism and charming simple Calypso "Do not Worry, Be Happy" wrote that he could not have imagined even remotely, what he would thus trigger. For the singer, the song should equally prove a blessing and a curse. As blessing because he was known at a stroke in the world and since then a wide audience, from which he had previously dared to dream. As curse, because it is just sometimes reduced only to this one song. Here the vocal cord acrobat has so much more to offer.
Born in New York on 11 March 1950, Bobby McFerrin was surrounded by small to music. His father, who died in 2006 Open baritone Robert McFerrin, 1955 was the first black singer who was allowed to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, and borrowed three years later the actor Sidney Poitier in the Hollywood version of Gershwin's opera "Porgy And Bess" his vocals , Bobby's mother Sara Cooper is also a singer and taught early music at Fullerton College in California. With six years Bobby McFerrin received at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York piano lessons and later studied also clarinet and flute.
After studying in Sacramento and at Cerritos College piano at California State College, he worked as a pianist for the Ice Follies (the forerunner of the Ice Revue "Holiday On Ice"), various cover bands, cabarets and dance ensembles. His first professional appearances as a singer graduated McFerrin until 27 years. After a performance at the 1981 Kool Jazz Festival he received from the record company Elektra the offer to include a separate album. The debut album, titled simply with his name, appeared in the following year, leaving fans of vocal jazz listen up equal. Although McFerrin flashed really only a handful of songs his incredible vocal talent on this album. The majority of the repertoire consisted of more traditional rhythm and blues titles. What really stuck in him, he showed two years later on the live album "The Voice", which it entirely without instrumental accompaniment (and without overdubs) presented. Inspired had him to this experiment, the solo albums of pianist Keith Jarrett. And had as Jarrett set these once new standards in the field of jazz piano solos, so it did now Bobby McFerrin in relation to the solo vocal jazz.
The following year he received his first two Grammys for a joint recording with the scat legend Jon Hendricks and Manhattan Transfer-Star Cheryl Bentyne. Six more Grammys should follow in the coming years. Was McFerrin mainly been known in jazz circles until then, he succeeded in 1988 with the album "Simple Pleasures" and thereon single "Do not Worry, Be Happy" the big breakthrough. The album sold ten million times worldwide!
When there is something silent in 1992 after a duo album with Chick Corea ( "Play") and another with the classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma ( "Hush") around the singer, verbreitetetn macabre pranksters the bitter rumor that the singer had the life advice he had given in his catchy "Do not Worry, be Happy", itself not followed and committed suicide. In actual fact, McFerrin had other projects facing and stepped increasingly as a conductor of symphony orchestras in appearance (including the New York Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic Orchestra). With the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra he took in 1995, the album "Paper Music" on.
An artistic recording pause he put in 2002 after his last blue Note album "beyond Words" a. Just in time for his 60th birthday on 11 March 2010, the charismatic singer announced but with an exceptional new album back in which he had placed than seven years of intensive work together with the arranger Roger Treece and producer Linda Goldstein. On "VOCAbuLarieS" McFerrin is supported by a unique virtual choir, which was mixed together from Treece from Over 1,400 vocal tracks. The album has an equally adventurous and entertaining journey through jazz, classical music, music from Africa, Latin America and India, Rhythm'n'Blues, gospel and pop. is accompanied Bobby McFerrin doing., among others, Janis Siegel from Manhattan Transfer, Lisa Fischer, Luciana Souza and members of the New York Voices and McFerrin Voicestra
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