Bobby McFerrin, Live in Munich

Munich Summer Piano Festival 1988

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Bobby McFerrin — Singer

Herbie Hancock — Pianist

Program notes

Whether imitating the sounds of cars, heartbeats, drum kits, flutes, recorders or anything the brain can imagine, Bobby McFerrin surely ranks as one of the most impressive live performers of all time. Here, at a 1988 show in Munich, we find him on the brink of a tipping point in his career: he was just about to release "Don't Worry, Be Happy," a track that would make him a household name. At this point, he still had a powerful element of surprise, toeing the line between beauty and humor and engaging the crowd with a good dose of sillyness and bucketloads of hard-won virtuosity. 

Indeed, McFerrin had been training his voice for five years before he ever recorded anything. In his early thirties he went as far as to avoid listening to any other singers for two years to ensure he sounded unique and authentic. It is a committed formula but one that paid off big time. Here, he delivers four staggering improvisations before taking on the famous "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and Monk's magnum opus "Round' Midnight," for which he is joined by the one and only Herbie Hancock. 

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Tuesday, June 30, 2026