After all these years, Bobby McFerrin, the man behind the hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” is still spreading that same message. WQXR’s Terrance McKnight talks to the 10-time Grammy Award winning vocal artist about his new album VOCAbuLarieS, the weekend’s show at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and why we should all strive to be a little more...happy.
VOCAbuLarieS, the first album McFerrin’s released in eight years, is a collaboration with composer Roger Treece and over 50 singers from around the world. Treece recorded each singer, one at a time, and edited them into a virtual choir of over 1,400 vocal tracks. The diversity of voices was enjoined to invent a new sound that was inspired by McFerrin’s multi-genre style. The album also is infused with R&B, classical and choral music, along with African tribal chants.
On his 2010 VOCAbuLarieS concert tour, McFerrin demonstrates how music can transcend language barriers. He has played to sold out houses in Munich, Prague, Vienna, San Francisco, and London, and at festivals including Schleswig-Holstein, Ravinia, Oregon Bach, and Montreal Jazz. His improvisational and interactive choral pieces even get the audience singing and clapping along. For the New York performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center, McFerrin invited a local 40-person choir to perform, which Treece will conduct.
Bobby McFerrin performs at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center on Friday, November 12 and on Saturday, November 13 at 8 P.M. Tickets start at $30.