Profiles

Bobby McFerrin — A Most Happy Fella

Bobby-McFerrin-profileAt the end of an interview with Bobby McFerrin, the one-of-a kind musical wonder described how content he is these days: He gets to conduct classics by composers he reveres; work with Voicestra, his longtime vocal ensemble; and perform the improvised solo vocalizations that continue to delight ticket-holders worldwide. Then, the man who will do all but the ensemble work in Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, said it: “I’m very, very happy.” This interviewer, normally loathe to re-trample territory any uberfamous artist has undoubtedly trod ad nauseam, couldn’t resist. McFerrin had given such a generous interview, after all … In fact, he practically volunteered the genesis of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” his joyously infectious ditty that hit number one on pop charts around the globe in 1988. “There’s an Indian guru, Maher Baba,” McFerrin says, “and that’s something he said. So I took that saying. I was walking down the street in Manhattan and I saw a poster with his face on it. I just started singing it.”

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