Bobby McFerrin

Biography

Born: March 11, 1950; New York, NY  
Vocal virtuoso Bobby McFerrin ranks among the most distinctive and original singers in contemporary music. Equally adept in jazz, pop, and classical settings, his octave-jumping trademark style, with its rhythmic inhalations and stop-on-a-dime shifts from falsetto to deep bass notes, often sounds like the work of at least two or three singers at once, while at the same time sounding quite unlike anyone else. The son of husband-and-wife classical Read more singers, McFerrin was born in New York City on March 11, 1950, later studying piano at California State College at Sacramento and Cerritos College. After touring behind the Ice Follies, he performed with a series of cover bands, cabaret acts, and dance troupes before making his vocal debut in 1977. While living in New Orleans, he sang with the group Astral Projection before relocating to San Francisco.

A performance at the 1981 Kool Jazz Festival led to a contract with Elektra, and the following year McFerrin issued his self-titled debut LP. With 1984's The Voice, he made jazz history, recording the first-ever solo vocal album (sans accompaniment or overdubbing) to be released on a major label. His Blue Note debut, Spontaneous Inventions, followed in 1985 and featured contributions from Herbie Hancock, the Manhattan Transfer (on the Grammy winning "Another Night in Tunisia"), and comic Robin Williams; McFerrin also earned mainstream exposure through his unique performance of the theme song to the television hit The Cosby Show, as well as a number of commercial spots. With 1988's Simple Pleasures, he scored a chart-topping pop smash with "Don't Worry, Be Happy." With 1992's Hush, McFerrin shifted gears to team with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma; the record remained on the Billboard classical crossover charts for over two years. With 1997's Circlesongs, McFerrin returned to his roots, recording an entire album of improvised vocal performances. ~ Jason Ankeny Read less
Browse 1-10 of 10 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Spirityouall / Bobby Mcferrin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 545686 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Bobby McFerrin,  Bob Dylan
    Performer:  Bobby McFerrin,  Esperanza Spalding
    CD: $14.99
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  • 2.
    Hush / Ma, McFerrin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55651 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bobby McFerrin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Traditional,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Bobby McFerrin
    CD: $11.99
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  • 3.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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    CD: $179.99
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  • 4.
    Aida's Brothers & Sisters: Black Voices In Opera
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101367 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  Reri Grist,  Barbara Hendricks,  Shirley Verrett,  Marian Anderson  ... 
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 5.
    The Ultimate Classical Christmas / Ma, Domingo, Battle
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 714332 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Traditional,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  Kathleen Battle,  Marilyn Horne,  Michael Bolton  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  John Williams,  Jerold Ottley,  Steven Mercurio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  American Boychoir,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 6.
    Swinging Bach / Bobby Mcferrin & Guests
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2050406 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Bobby McFerrin,  Gil Shaham,  Adele Anthony
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quintessence Saxophone Quintet,  Jacques Loussier Trio,  King's Singers
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    The Essential Yo-Yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93927 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Joseph Brackett  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Kathryn Stott,  Nilson Matta,  Rosa Passos  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Ennio Morricone,  Chen Xieyang,  Tan Dun  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra,  Claude Bolling Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Classic Yo-yo / Yo-yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89667 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joseph Brackett,  Mark O'Connor  ... 
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Alison Krauss,  Mark O'Connor  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Ton Koopman,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai National Orchestra,  Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Recording Arts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 9.
    The Mozart Sessions / Bobby Mcferrin, Chick Corea
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62601 Release Date: 10/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Chick Corea,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Bobby McFerrin,  Chick Corea
    Conductor:  Bobby McFerrin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 10.
    Paper Music / Bobby Mcferrin, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64600 Release Date: 07/25/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Bobby McFerrin,  Layton James,  Peter Howard
    Conductor:  Bobby McFerrin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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