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Five Reasons I Want to be Friends with Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin is a 10-time Grammy winning musician. Offspring of an operatic baratone and sweet songstress, McFerrin himself is a conductor, vocalist, multi instrumentalist and virtuoso.

And I want to be his friend.

Don’t mistake my admiration for lust, my respect for obsession, and my lack of musical inclination for petition. I am grateful that McFerrin exists and more than that, that has chosen to share his existence and talents with the world.

His willingness to give of his knowledge and talent through teaching and lectures is commendable and appreciated.

If his credentials aren’t enough to explain my desire to have him in my circle of friends, allow me to elaborate with five more reasons…


In 1988, my birth year, while I was busy being born and acting childish, McFerrin released “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” In fact, he did so a month before my birth, as if he knew that I was coming and wanted to welcome me with some sound advice in the form of a four-minute song. McFerrin, you shouldn’t have and you did. You did.

The song received Song of the Year and Record of the Year honors. But then George H. W. Bush ruined it for the rest of us, didn’t he?



McFerrin can switch between modal and falsetto registers with a grace that could only result in mindblowing effects. His ability to perform melody and all other parts of a song as one does not sound like “forever alone,” but does say brilliance.

Multiphonic singing? Percussive effects made from chest tapping and mouth movement? In his former life, if he had one, perhaps he was an instrument. Finely tuned but never played.


A short lesson on pentatonic scale at the World Science Festival? Yes, please.


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