Bobby McFerrin reminds us of the joy in music
The first time most of America got a glimpse of Bobby McFerrin was before the dreads, even before “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” reached iconic pop status. He did a TV commercial for Levi’s 501 jeans in the mid-1980s that still rings in memory today, for the sounds he made, the undeniable charm, and the sheer fun he communicated in thirty seconds or less, depending which version you saw. It was more than a “star is born” moment, because it was clear, even then, that this was no flash in the pan. Get your own glimpse on YouTube:
Why is such a celebrity our Hidden Gem this week? Because McFerrin is not so much hidden as constantly revealing himself, a prime example of creativity on fire, joyous collaboration, and the constant evolution of a born artist. He has challenged our concepts of music, gleefully broken genre boundaries with the world’s most famous cellist, and continues to inspire us to stretch beyond the known. No wonder he’s won a whopping ten Grammy awards to date, and his interactive TED Talk is one of the most popular in an enormously popular genre, with more than three million views so far.
What you may not know is McFerrin’s more recent work, e.g. spirityouall, the 2013 collaboration with jazz artist-of-the-moment Esmeralda Spalding that reimagines familiar spirituals to the nth degree. It is this ongoing search for new musical vocabulary that keeps his work fresh and his performances entertaining. This Saturday, he comes to College of the Canyons to do his thing and remind us of the treasure that is Bobby. As of press time, some tickets are still available — get yourself to the high desert for a live performance you’ll never forget.
College of the Canyons
Saturday, April 18, 2015, 8pm
Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center
Santa Clarita, CA 91355