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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | April 29, 1994
What kind of singer is Bobby McFerrin?"It really depends on the situation," he says. "Because I like so many different kinds of music, it's really difficult to put me in one room and lock the door. I don't remember what city it was, but once out in front of the auditorium I was about to perform in, it said 'Bobby McFerrin: Jazz Singer.' And I took a marker and crossed 'Jazz' out, so it just said 'Singer.' "He laughs, and adds, "I like that. It's a broader definition."Broad definitions seem appropriate for McFerrin.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 2, 2005
Bobby McFerrin is back at the Meyerhoff for another collaboration with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, this one devoted largely to Mozart. The program, which repeats tonight, is part of the BSO's Symphony With a Twist series. It could use a little more twist. Although there will always be some folks getting their first exposure to McFerrin's distinctive, crowd-pleasing brand of vocalism during the obligatory improvisation portion of his concerts, and others who will never tire of hearing it, the rest of us could use a fresh idea or two. Funny how most classical music types are struggling with ways to enliven 200-year-old concert formats.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 4, 1997
The usual no-shows must have showed because Meyerhoff Hall was nearly filled last night for the first Baltimore Symphony concert of the new year. What was almost as remarkable was that both halves of the program received standing ovations. And there were an unusually large number of young and black faces mixed among the customarily white ones with graying hair.The reason?The presence of Bobby McFerrin, the great pop-jazz vocalist and one-man vocal ensemble, as both guest conductor and guest soloist.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 21, 2004
The ultimate message of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony could be boiled down to one simple phrase: Don't worry, be happy. So it's an inevitable vehicle for vocal acrobat, composer and conductor Bobby McFerrin, who led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Morgan State University Choir and an energetic quartet of soloists in a performance of the Ninth last night at Meyerhoff Hall. Another, meatier message in the Ode to Joy finale of the symphony - "You millions, be embraced; this kiss is for the whole world" - was imaginatively underlined before McFerrin got to the Ninth.
FEATURES
April 30, 1994
Five-time Grammy winning singer Bobby McFerrin comes to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall tomorrow, bringing Hard Choral, his musical mixture of pop, rock and jazz.Tickets, $16 to $36, are still available for his 3 p.m. concert by calling the Meyerhoff box office at 783-8000.To hear a sampling of Mr. McFerrin's music, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service at (410) 783-1800. In Anne Arundel County, call 268-7736; in Harford County, 836-5028; in Carroll County, 848-0338. Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6241 after you hear the greeting.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 8, 1999
I never heard him in person, but -- on records, at least -- no Mozart interpreter matched composer Benjamin Britten. Britten interpreted the music of others "like a composer." This meant conducting that not only had a personal stamp, but also a unique sense of how "the music is supposed to go." As someone who shared Mozart's genius for opera, Britten always knew where the melody was and what was happening around it. His phrasing was natural, warm and emotionally generous; his sense of pulse was unerring; and he had an uncanny awareness of where the high point of a phrase was and about what to stress on the way there.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 25, 2002
Bobby McFerrin tells the story of how he learned an invaluable lesson from Leonard Bernstein while picking up pointers on conducting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. Asked about a note-packed passage in the score that was giving McFerrin some trouble, Bernstein replied, "It's all jazz." That incident provided a starting point for McFerrin's latest engagement with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. This "Symphony With a Twist" program, appropriately titled "It's All Jazz," looked more fulfilling on paper than it turned out to be Friday evening at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in College Park.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | February 28, 1992
Where would you file Bobby McFerrin?That question has been tormenting people -- music fans in general and record store clerks in particular -- for years now. Given his Grammy awards for jazz singing, it's tempting just to put him in that pigeonhole, and let his reputation rest on albums like "The Voice" and "Spontaneous Inventions."But that overlooks the pop success he had with "Simple Pleasures," the album which produced the chart-topping (and Grammy-winning) "Don't Worry, Be Happy." And now with "Hush," a collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma that finds McFerrin singing "Flight of the Bumblebee" and Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise," the singer seems to be moving into the classical market.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | June 3, 2000
When LaTonya Lilly, a pupil at Booker T. Washington Middle School, wrote to singer and conductor Bobby McFerrin thanking him for a visit he paid her class last year, she added a postscript: "Please write back." He did. McFerrin, who appears tonight and tomorrow with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, wrote letters to every member of LaTonya's class, responding to their thank-you notes this school year. Yesterday, they had a chance to meet again, as 11 of the letter-writers came to watch McFerrin rehearse conducting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony in his signature light-hearted style at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 21, 2004
The ultimate message of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony could be boiled down to one simple phrase: Don't worry, be happy. So it's an inevitable vehicle for vocal acrobat, composer and conductor Bobby McFerrin, who led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Morgan State University Choir and an energetic quartet of soloists in a performance of the Ninth last night at Meyerhoff Hall. Another, meatier message in the Ode to Joy finale of the symphony - "You millions, be embraced; this kiss is for the whole world" - was imaginatively underlined before McFerrin got to the Ninth.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 5, 2003
If, like me, you've grown a little weary of the Bobby McFerrin act - and judging by the empty seats last night at Meyerhoff Hall, there may be quite a few of you - just get over it. His appearance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and an impressive lineup of vocal forces is well worth catching this weekend. To begin with, the primarily choral program is substantive and filling. And McFerrin has the works by Bach, Barber and Bernstein (a nice new twist on "The Three Bs") in a fairly firm grasp.
SPORTS
By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,SUN STAFF | June 1, 2002
WASHINGTON - It has gotten to the point now where Washington Mystics forward Murriel Page can't keep all of her former coaches straight. "Let's see. There was Jim [Lewis] and Cathy [Parsont] and Nancy [Darsch] and Darrell [Walker] and now there's Marianne [Stanley]. Oh, I forgot Tom [Maher]," said Page after practice the other day. For Page, the only remaining original player from when the WNBA granted Washington an expansion team four seasons ago, the door to the Washington coach's office has been constantly revolving.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 25, 2002
Bobby McFerrin tells the story of how he learned an invaluable lesson from Leonard Bernstein while picking up pointers on conducting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. Asked about a note-packed passage in the score that was giving McFerrin some trouble, Bernstein replied, "It's all jazz." That incident provided a starting point for McFerrin's latest engagement with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. This "Symphony With a Twist" program, appropriately titled "It's All Jazz," looked more fulfilling on paper than it turned out to be Friday evening at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in College Park.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 10, 2001
Johann Sebastian Bach loved to improvise, had a streak of sly musical humor, and wasn't averse to shaking up prim and proper audiences (congregations, actually). So he probably would have loved attending a concert featuring vocal improv virtuoso and conductor Bobby McFerrin. McFerrin is in town for the first of two stints with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this season (he'll be back in May); for this program, which repeats tonight, he's leading two major works by Bach and offering his familiar one-voice-band stylings.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | June 3, 2000
When LaTonya Lilly, a pupil at Booker T. Washington Middle School, wrote to singer and conductor Bobby McFerrin thanking him for a visit he paid her class last year, she added a postscript: "Please write back." He did. McFerrin, who appears tonight and tomorrow with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, wrote letters to every member of LaTonya's class, responding to their thank-you notes this school year. Yesterday, they had a chance to meet again, as 11 of the letter-writers came to watch McFerrin rehearse conducting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony in his signature light-hearted style at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 8, 1999
I never heard him in person, but -- on records, at least -- no Mozart interpreter matched composer Benjamin Britten. Britten interpreted the music of others "like a composer." This meant conducting that not only had a personal stamp, but also a unique sense of how "the music is supposed to go." As someone who shared Mozart's genius for opera, Britten always knew where the melody was and what was happening around it. His phrasing was natural, warm and emotionally generous; his sense of pulse was unerring; and he had an uncanny awareness of where the high point of a phrase was and about what to stress on the way there.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 29, 1999
The question was inevitable.Bobby McFerrin was talking Tuesday to high school students who had just seen him rehearse the Baltimore Symphony for a series of concerts this weekend at the Meyerhoff.A girl raised her hand, hesitated and then asked:"Did you have trouble getting people [in orchestras] to see past `Don't Worry, Be Happy'? "McFerrin snorted with laughter."When I faced an orchestra for the first time, their notion of me was a little ambiguous to say the least," he said. "Every musician had to be thinking, `What can he tell us about Beethoven and Mozart?
SPORTS
By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,SUN STAFF | June 1, 2002
WASHINGTON - It has gotten to the point now where Washington Mystics forward Murriel Page can't keep all of her former coaches straight. "Let's see. There was Jim [Lewis] and Cathy [Parsont] and Nancy [Darsch] and Darrell [Walker] and now there's Marianne [Stanley]. Oh, I forgot Tom [Maher]," said Page after practice the other day. For Page, the only remaining original player from when the WNBA granted Washington an expansion team four seasons ago, the door to the Washington coach's office has been constantly revolving.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 30, 1999
Bobby McFerrin's concert with the Baltimore Symphony last night in Meyerhoff Hall was filled with surprises.McFerrin, a celebrated jazz soloist who began showing up on podiums less than 10 years ago, has improved as a conductor since his first appearance with the orchestra in January 1997. Don't misunderstand. The performances of McFerrin, a great musician with a solid classical background, were fine back then. It's just that they were better this time.He led Mozart's early cantata, "Exulsate, jubilate" (K. 165)
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 29, 1999
The question was inevitable.Bobby McFerrin was talking Tuesday to high school students who had just seen him rehearse the Baltimore Symphony for a series of concerts this weekend at the Meyerhoff.A girl raised her hand, hesitated and then asked:"Did you have trouble getting people [in orchestras] to see past `Don't Worry, Be Happy'? "McFerrin snorted with laughter."When I faced an orchestra for the first time, their notion of me was a little ambiguous to say the least," he said. "Every musician had to be thinking, `What can he tell us about Beethoven and Mozart?
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