As a rule, collaborations of great musicians produce very special musical moments. Especially for this festival vocal artist Bobby McFerrin at his own request enters into a cooperation with the Randy Weston Quintet. It's not far fetched to conclude that this is going to be a unique concert: we're talking about two very talented musicians who both make music in an authentic way.
Bobby McFerrin is equally at home in styles such as pop, jazz, folk, classical and world music. He received no less than ten Grammy Awards and worked with great names such as Chick Corea, Yo-Yo Ma and Herbie Hancock. Lately McFerrin also manifests himself as a guest conductor of various symphony orchestras. He conducted the jazz opera Porgy & Bess and furthermore he's led Voicestra, his own choir with members from a theatre, jazz and classical background.
The New York-born McFerrin was brought up with opera music. His father was the first Afro-American soloist with the Metropolitan opera. At first McFerrin had a crush on the clarinet, but later he switched to the piano. His first high school band was called Bobby Mack Quartet. He wouldn't start singing until 1977 with the Astral Project in New Orleans and on tour with the legendary singer Jon Hendricks. From that moment on McFerrin started broadening his horizons as a vocal artist and, inspired by the solo performances of pianist Keith Jarrett, he began giving improvised solo concerts all over the world.
Although he was born in Brooklyn - New York, the African drums are beating in the heart of Randy Weston, the tall cultural ambassador of world music. The solidarity with the African continent is deeply felt by the pianist. Being a child of African parents, he was brought up with the thought that one day he would visit his true motherland. As a soloist, dynamic leader of various groups and as gifted composer the strongly Thelonious Monk influenced Weston has established a considerable career. He played with jazz greats such as Cannonball Adderley, Betty Carter, Eric Dolphy, Lionel Hampton and Ahmad Jamal, released several beautiful albums on the Verve label and was elected twice as Composer of the Year by DownBeat Magazine. Musically speaking he keeps on building bridges in order to merge African rhythms with American music and traditional music from Morocco and China. Apart from his performance with Bobby McFerrin, Weston will also give a separate concert with his quintet.