Genre: Jazz & Blues
Price: Under $50,000
Bobby McFerrin Song List
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Bobby McFerrin was born in 1950 to classically trained singers. He studied piano in college, and began performing and singing in the mid 1970’s. By the end of the decade, Bobby McFerrin had relocated to San Francisco. A fortuitous meeting with the comedic legend, Billy Cosby, took place shortly after his arrival, and Cosby arranged for McFerrin to perform at the Playboy Jazz Festival in 1980, thus opening some doors for the young performer.
After a performance at the Kool Jazz Festival in 1981, Bobby McFerrin found himself with a recording contract. McFerrin’s debut album, The Voice, was released in 1984 to critical acclaim. It was the first major label album in jazz history to feature only vocals, with absolutely no accompaniment. Spontaneous Interventions came next in 1985, and featured contributions from the comedian Robin Williams and fellow musicians Manhattan Transfer, and Herbie Hancock.
Around this time, Cosby arranged for Bobby McFerrin to record the theme song to his television show, The Cosby Show, and suddenly McFerrin became nearly a household name. Simple Pleasures, released in 1988, featured the smash hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” which would go on to be an iconic single for the decade and for Bobby McFerrin as a performer.
In 1992, Bobby McFerrin teamed up with Yo-Yo Ma for the album Hush, and thus the album crossed over to the classical charts, where it remained for over two years. That same year, McFerrin teamed with pianist Chick Corea to release Play. Paper Music came next in 1995, and featured Bobby McFerrin’s interpretation of some of the greatest works by classical composers Bach, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. Bang! Zoom came next in 1996, followed by Circlesongs in 1997, where Bobby McFerrin returned to his vocals-only style. McFerrin closed out the millennium by embarking on a tour with the concert version of Porgy and Bess.
Bobby McFerrin is a devoted supporter of music education programs and frequently appears as a guest instructor in public schools. One of his most recent appearances was at the World Science Festival, where he delighted audiences by assisting in their interactive participation to demonstrate the pentatonic scale. In 2009, Bobby served as co-host for The Musical Instinct, a two-hour documentary, alongside Daniel Levitin, author of This is Your Brain On Music.
Bobby McFerrin continues to perform and delight audiences with his incredible talents and commitment to the future of music education and exploration. His latest album, the critically acclaimed Spirit you all (2013), reimagines some of Americana’s classic songs and spirituals.
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