In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

Home | Doo Wop | Barbershop | World | Contemporary | Christian | Vocal Jazz | Choral | Christmas | Instructional | Arrangements

Classical | Opera | Musicals | Personality | Young Singers | Disney | Videos | Songs | The Artists

Bobby McFerrin Biography

Bobby McFerrin

Click Here for Arrangements, Compositions and Recordings

Born: 1950. Living in: United States

On the 11th of March, 1950, Bobby McFerrin was born. His parents were classical singers and he began to study music theory early on in his life. His family then moved to Los Angeles. During high school and then in College, UCSC, he focused on the piano. Once he finished college, Bobby McFerrin toured with numerous bands including the Ice Follies.

However, it was only in 1977 that Bobby McFerrin decide to become a singer. At one point he met Bill Cosby who arranged for him take part in the 1980 Playboy Jazz Festival. It was only two years later where he released his firm album called "Bobby McFerrin" in 1982. It was in 1983, that Bobby McFerrin started converting without a band. This eventually led him to make a solo tour in Germany. It was in Germany that he recorded his album "The Voice". From that point on, he continued to make solo tours in the most prestigious locations. It is also important to realize that Bobby McFerrin worked with several important people like Garrison Keillor, Jack Nicholson, and Joe Zawinul. On "Another Night in Tunisia", Bobby McFerrin won two Grammies.

McFerrin was also featured in TV commercials for Levi's and Ocean Spray and also ended up singing the theme song for the Cosby Show and the movie Round Midnight by Bertrand Tavernier which got hum another Grammy. By now, Bobby McFerrin had achieved a great deal of success as a vocal and had released his platinum album Simple Pleasures which included the hit "Don't Worry be Happy".

As an Orchestrator, Bobby McFerrin demonstrated his skills in 1990 when he released Medicine Music. He appeared on Arsenio Hall, Today and Evening at Pops. Beyond that, he recorded Hush with Yo-Yo Ma in 1992. The Hush album stayed on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart for two years until he went gold in 1996. In 1992, Bobby McFerrin also released a new Jazz album called Play which earned him his 10th Grammy award. He is without a doubt one of the greatest Jazz Artists of all time.

McFerrin also worked with classical music. In fact, his first classical album named Paper Music was recorded with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. His symphonic conducting included the convert-length version of Porgy and Bess. This very album remains on the Billboard chart of classical bestsellers.

There is another important aspect of McFerrin's life. He was part of the artistic leadership of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and in 1994 he joined as the creative chair. Among his numerous other activities, McFerrin he developed a program called CONNECT which is an education and outreach program. In 1996, he was recognized for his work with bringing the youth into classical music as the ABC Person of the Week. Also, he was given a 60 minutes feature with Mike Wallace.

His most recent works has been his album Bang Zoom which was released in January of 1996. Also, his latest work Circle Songs he focussed on his tremendous vocal talent. He continues to conduct symphonies. Indeed, he has conducted in practically all the great orchestra including the New York Philharmonic. Over the years, Bobby McFerrin has been an inspiration to millions and a musician who has evolved the music he so passionately works with.

1986 - Grammy Winner - Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices - Night in Tunisia
1988 - Grammy Winner - Song Of The Year - Simple Pleasures
1989 - Grammy Winner - Record of the Year - Don't Worry, Be Happy
1989 - Grammy Winner - Song Of The Year - Don't Worry, Be Happy
1992 - Grammy Winner - Best Jazz Vocal Performance - Mouth Music

Groups Directed


Media Articles
Los Angeles Times, McFerrin's Latest Big Hit: Voicestra

Bobby McFerrin Videos

Specialty Arrangements

Find a Song

Lists of Songs With Arrangements