Born: March 11, 1950 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Bobby McFerrin is one of the natural wonders of the music world. A ten-time Grammy Award winner, he is one of the world's best-known vocal innovators and improvisers, a world-renowned classical conductor, the creator of Don't Worry Be Happy, one of the most popular songs of the late 20th century, and a passionate spokesman for music education. His recordings have sold over 20 million copies, and his collaborations including those with with Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, the Vienna Philharmonic, and Herbie Hancock have established him as an ambassador of both the classical and jazz worlds.
With a four-octave range and a vast array of vocal techniques, McFerrin is no mere singer; he is music's last true Renaissance man, a vocal explorer who has combined jazz, folk and a multitude of world music influences - choral, a cappella, and classical music - with his own ingredients. As a conductor, Bobby is able to convey his innate musicality in an entirely different context. He has worked with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Vienna Philharmonic.
'Unconventional' is a good way to describe the career of Bobby McFerrin. Those familiar with McFerrin's shows, whether as a conductor or a vocalist, know that each one is a unique event that resonates with the unexpected. He is that rare artist who has the ability to reach beyond musical genres and stereotypes for a sound that is entirely his own. As one of the foremost guardians of music's rich heritage, he remains at the vanguard with his natural, beautiful and timeless music that transcends all borders and embraces all cultures.