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February 5, 2023

Bobby McFerrin, on a Bucharest stage again

Ten-times Grammy winner, Bobby McFerrin will return to Bucharest on January 30 in a Palace Hall show. The musician has already accustomed his public to his music eccentricities. He is one of the most unique musicians nowadays, as he switches rapidly and fluidly between normal and falsetto registers to create polyphonic effects, effectively performing both the main melody and the accompanying parts of songs. He makes use of percussive effects created both with his mouth and by tapping on his chest. McFerrin is also capable of overtone singing — as observed in his song “Drive” from the 2005 DVD Live in Montreal. A notable document of McFerrin’s approach to singing is his 1984 album The Voice, the first solo vocal jazz album recorded with no accompaniment or overdubbing. McFerrin’s song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was a #1 U.S. pop hit in 1988 and won Song of the Year and Record of the Year honors. McFerrin has also worked in collaboration with instrumental performers including pianists Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Zawinul, drummer Tony Williams, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In addition to his vocal performing career, Mr. McFerrin was appointed in 1994 as creative chair of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He makes regular tours as a guest conductor for symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Canada.

In his concert appearances, he combines serious conducting of classical pieces with his own unique vocal improvisations, often with participation from the audience and the orchestra. For example, his concerts often end with McFerrin conducting the orchestra in an a cappella rendition of the “William Tell Overture,” in which the orchestra members sing their musical parts in McFerrin’s vocal style, instead of playing their parts on their instruments.

Tickets for Sunday’s performance in Bucharest can still be purchased in the Eventim network, for prices ranging between 80 and 120 RON.

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