Even those who claim to be ignorant of all things musical can tell you a thing or two about Bobby McFerrin. Of course, there’s his 1988 song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” which was not only the number one U.S. pop hit of the year, but also a childhood staple of our generation and generations to come. But McFerrin’s true magic is his incredible vocal range, which stretches well beyond that which most singers could hope to achieve.
Born in Manhattan to Robert McFerrin and Sara Copper, music played a large part in McFerrin’s childhood. His father was the first African American to sing regularly at the Metropolitan Opera and his mother was a soloist who performed in regional opera companies and in Broadway shows. This impressive legacy only heightens McFerrin’s accomplishments; besides being a 10-time Grammy award winner, he has managed to blur the boundaries between the human voice and just about every orchestral instrument. His collaboration with artists like Yo-Yo Ma on various classical pieces, such as Vivaldi’s “Concerto in D Minor for Two Mandolins,” showcase his true talent: It is nearly impossible to distinguish the mandolin from the voice, especially when the two are in unison. His performance at the State Theatre this Saturday is sure to be unlike any other concert you have ever experienced.