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“Bobby McFerrin: Circlesongs” will take you on a life-changing musical adventure. McFerrin’s exhilarating vocal vocabulary—call-and-response, global rhythms, soaring melodies, lush harmonies, funny noises, invented language, silence, prayers, and laughter—reminds us all of how much fun it is to be alive, to lift our voices and communicate with one another, to make a joyful noise.
McFerrin will take the stage alongside two trusted members of his groundbreaking a cappella group Voicestra: tenor/vocal percussionist David Worm and bass Joey Blake. These three are masters of the art of play, and together they will lead Circlesongs, choral pieces based on irresistible grooves, spontaneously composed each night and sung by a twelve-voice ensemble of local singers—and sometimes by the whole crowd. “I want to bring audiences into the incredible feeling of freedom that I get when I sing,” says McFerrin. “I want everyone to leave the theatre and sing in their own kitchens the next morning.”
A cappella singers, beatboxers, and vocalists of all genres claim Bobby McFerrin as an inspiration. The jazz and classical worlds celebrate his innovative technique and spirit. His solo performances and collaborations—with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianists Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, the Vienna and New York Philharmonic orchestras, and eager volunteers from audiences all over the world—are legendary. Ten Grammy Awards and his number one global hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” are pretty impressive, but “Bobby McFerrin’s greatest gift to his audience may be changing them from spectators into celebrants,” says the Los Angeles Times, “transforming a concert hall into a playground, a village center, a joyous space.” Join the circle and sing along.
McFerrin borrows from African, Caribbean, Persian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures, and he uses R&B and funk, too. The result is a set of soaring, spiritual performances that are exotic and hypnotic. In ‘Circlesongs’ McFerrin has found a fresh way to strike a chord.
‘Circlesongs,’ dedicated to the proposition that ‘sound is sacred,’ are composed by Bobby McFerrin and sung in call-and-response style with a dozen other singers. Like everything else McFerrin does, this music is touched with magic.
A musician worthy of respect, McFerrin is also an entertainer who draws audiences to him, and thus the type of performer we desperately need in classical music today.