Bobby McFerrin

Updated
30 Nov 2016

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Bobby McFerrin. Photo by Carol Friedman.

Master improviser and 10-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin is recognized for his extraordinary vocal range and technique, his work as a classical conductor, and his numerous cross-genre collaborations with the likes of the Vienna Philharmonic, Chick Corea and Yo-Yo Ma, with whom he released the multi-platinum album Hush (1992). McFerrin is perhaps best known for redefining the role of the human voice with his a cappella hit Don't Worry, Be Happy (1988), but since then he has continued to blur the distinction between pop music and fine art and explore uncharted vocal territory, inspiring a whole new generation of a cappella singers and the beatbox movement. In 2010, he collaborated with composer/arranger/producer Roger Treece on VOCAbuLarieS, which features over fifty of the world´s finest singers recorded one at a time and in small groups to create a virtual choir made up of over 1,400 vocal tracks. His latest album, spirityouall (2013), is a bluesy, feel-good recording that reimagines Americana with beloved spirituals and original songs. McFerrin is also the founder of Voicestra, described as his "rich compositional vehicle" made up of twelve singers with broad stylistic experience ranging from jazz to R&B to Indian classical opera. McFerrin participated in a January 2011 panel held by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, "New Frontiers in Singing and Electronic Music."