may be available for your
next special event.
6 Time Grammy Award Winner!
Born a preacher's son in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Al Jarreau started his musical career singing at the local church choir, harmonizing with his brothers and performing at a variety of local events in his hometown. His very first gig was at the tender age of four at a Garden Fair.
continued his experiences with hardbop scat vocals and bossa nova rhythms during his time at the respected Ripon College in Wisconsin. "My interest in improvised music began when I was a kid, my older brothers were singers and brought a lot of jazz music into the house," Jarreau recalls.
He continued singing for fun, performing locally with a band called THE INDIGOS during weekends and holidays. After moving on to the University of Iowa to earn his Master's Degree and becoming an all-conference basketball and baseball player, Al Jarreau
subsequently relocated to San Francisco, beginning a career in rehabilitation counseling.
Starting to work in San Francisco in 1964, he soon entered the Bay Area's club scene, fronting a trio headed by
George Duke at the Half Moon Club. By the time he had hooked up with guitar player Julio Martinez in 1968, he realized that he would make singing his life! "So one day I stopped getting up at 7 am and just worked as a singer at night."
Encouraged by their following, he and Martinez decided to move to Los Angeles and head for the big time. After having recorded some demos, they moved on to New York – ever onward and upward. Al traveled back and forth between the two cities, frequently rubbing shoulders with the likes of Richard Pryor and Quincy Jones, thinking most fondly of his residency at LA's Blah Blah Cafe.
"I sang with a typical jazz trio and we had a lot of fun, I think I really began to perfect my scat singing there." 1975 found Al Jarreau singing at the Troubadour, and so did a certain A & R man. Al signed his first recording
contract with Reprise/Warner Brothers and some months later, "We Got By" was released.
Al Jarreau's first successes didn't take place in the U.S., but in Europe and especially Germany, as he was awarded a Grammy in Germany with the release of "We Got By." A second German Grammy came his way with the release of the follow-up album, "Glow,"
a reflection of Jarreau's international appeal. 1977 saw Al's first international/world wide tour, spawning the most successful double live album "Look To The Rainbow."
major U.S. successes rolled in when he started to turn to more pop and rhythm & blues oriented songs with the collaboration with producer Jay Graydon on Jarreau's 1980 album, "This Time." The album resulted in a third Grammy nomination, followed by the second Jay Graydon production, "Breaking Away."
The third collaboration spawned the self-titled "Jarreau" album, which earned gold record certification within two months of its release. After that, in 1984, the last complete collaboration of Jarreau/Graydon resulted
in "High Crime," finding Al Jarreau's career at its peak point. Followed by his second live album, "Al Jarreau In London," his next album "L Is For Lover" was produced by former
CHIC producer and guitarist,
Nile Rodgers (also known from productions of
David Bowie's "Let's Dance,"
Diana Ross' "Diana" album and Debbie Harry's "KooKoo").
Hence, his sound changed and turned to more dance oriented stylistics and rhythms. Rodgers also produced Jarreau's contribution to the Original Soundtrack of "Moonlighting," which title song made Al an every evening guest in millions of living rooms.
For the 1988 album "Heart's Horizon" he used no less than three producers: once again successful Jay
Graydon, George Duke and Philippe Saisse. After a four year break of recording work he changed the team and worked with Narada Michael Walden as his new producer, releasing the fine "Heaven And Earth" album. Two years later, his pet project with outstanding jazz bassist and producer,
Marcus Miller, came true: "Tenderness."
There is also a video available from that session, showing the professional artistry of Jarreau and his band, featuring CRUSADERS pianist,
Joe Sample, amongst other incredible talents.
Awards include --
- Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance - Grammy 2006
- Best R&B Vocal Performance - Grammy 1992
- Best Jazz Vocal Performance - Grammy 1981
- Best Pop Vocal Performance - Grammy 1981
- Best Jazz Vocal Performance - Grammy 1978
- Best Jazz Vocal Performance - Grammy 1977
Hit songs include --
- So Good
- After All
- Lean on Me
- We're in This Love Together
- Boogie Down
- Since I fell for You
- Trouble in Paradise
- Teach Me Tonight
- All Or Nothing At All
- All Of My Love
- It's Not Hard To Love You
- Blue Angel
- Just To Be Loved
- Double Face
- Bring Me Joy
- SomeBossa (Summer Breezin')
Al Jarreau may be available for your
next special event.
.Contemporary Jazz. / ContemporaryJazz
.Soft Rock. / SoftRock
.Pop. / xPop
.Bop. / xBop
.Post-Bop. / PostBop
x70s, x80s, x90s, x00s, x10s
Born: ..in Wisconsin / born nWisconsin
..in Milwaukee / born MilwaukeeWI
Apr 12, 1940
Based: ..in US
Tag: .Orchestra charts available. / OrchestraCharts