“Music for me is like a spiritual journey down into the depths of my soul. And I like to think we’re all on a journey into our souls. What’s down there? That’s why I do what I do.”—Bobby McFerrin
Listening to Bobby McFerrin sing may be hazardous to your preconceptions; side effects may include unparalleled joy, a new perspective on creativity, rejection of the predictable, and a sudden, irreversible urge to lead a more spontaneous existence.
To some, 10-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin will always be the guy who sang Don’t Worry, Be Happy. But if that song is all you know about Bobby McFerrin, sit back and prepare for a serious boggling of the mind. Bobby’s legendary solo performances and his collaborations with great artists including Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the Vienna Philharmonic have toured the world from Russia to Brazil to Japan to Abu Dhabi. His latest album, spirityouall, is a re-imagination of the American folk spiritual tradition and an outpouring of heartfelt joy.
The New York Times has credited him with sparking the current revival of a cappella music. Newsweek said, “There is something almost superhuman about the range and technique of Bobby McFerrin. He sounds, by turns, like a blackbird, a Martian, an operatic soprano, a small child, and a bebop trumpet.”
But for Bobby, virtuosity is merely a gateway. What Bobby McFerrin does is not an act; it’s spontaneous invention. “One of the simplest and most direct ways of praying and meditating is through singing, and singing in community is especially powerful. You get people together in a room and get them singing, and you instantly knock down all the walls—the creeds, the gender, age and race differences, everything. You’re all one at that point, lifting your voices,” says Bobby.