@ the Royal Festival Hall
3 Jully 2011
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Al Jarreau began singing and harmonising with his brothers from
the tender age of 4. A young Jarreau would perform solo at many
local events in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jarreau enrolled at Ripon College in Wisconsin and continued singing
for fun. He performed at local gigs at weekends and during holidays
with a group named The Indigos. Jarreau graduated with a Bachelor
Of Science degree in Psychology and moved on to the University of
Lowa. Here he earned is Master’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation.
With qualifications in hand, Jarreau relocated to San Francisco
to begin a career in rehabilitation counselling.
As well as working as rehabilitation counsellor during the 1960’s,
Jarreau found time to sing at a small jazz club with a trio led
by keyboard master George Duke. It would not be long before Jarreau’s
voice began to win fans and gain attention from other musicians.
He would also realise that singing would be ‘his life’.
After relocating to Los Angeles in the late 60’s, Jarreau
performed in nightspots such as Dino’s, the Bitter End West
and the Troubador. He gained national television exposure with celebrities
such as Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, David Frost, Mike Douglas,
In 1975, Jarreau signed to Warner Brothers after being spotted
by talent scouts while performing at the Ba Bla Café in Los
Angeles. His debut album “We Got By” was released the
same year to critical acclaim. Jarreau was awarded a German Grammy
for Best New International Soloist. A second German Grammy came
his way with the release of his follow-up album “Glow”
released in 1976.
1977 would see Jarreau embark on his first world tour. The double
live album “Look To The Rainbow” featuring selected
cuts from the tour was released. Jarreau would be awarded his first
American Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance the same year.
In 1978, Jarreau’s fourth album “All Fly Home”
was greeted with further acclaim, a wider audience and a second
American Grammy for Best Jazz vocalist. This album also spawned
the million selling “Breakin’ Away” and two Grammy
Awards for Best Male Pop Vocalist and Best Male vocalist. His follow
up albums “Jarreau” and “High Crime” released
in 1983 spawned a string of R&B and pop hits further cementing
his international appeal at every level. By 1987 Jarreau’s
vocals could be heard on a weekly basis with the theme song for
the hit television series Moonlighting.
Jarreau further proved his versatility in the mid 90’s by
accepting a three-month stint on Broadway playing the role of Teen
Angel in the musical Grease. He also appeared on New York Undercover,
Touched By An Angel and a national McDonald’s commercial with
R&B songstress Vesta Williams.
On March 6, 2001 Jarreau was honoured with a star on the “Hollywood
Walk Of Fame”.