Al Jarreau’s unique vocal style is one of the world’s most precious treasures. His innovative musical expressions have made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time with seven Grammy® Awards, scores of international music awards and popular accolades worldwide.
It’s not surprising that he has perfected his technique to such an art. After all, he has been singing since the age of four, harmonizing with his brothers and performing solo at a variety of local events in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In San Francisco, Al’s natural musical gifts began to shape his future and by the late 60s, he knew without a doubt that he would make singing his life. Shortly thereafter, he branched out to New York City as well, where he gained national network television exposure with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, David Frost and Mike Douglas. Al teamed with guitarist Julio Martinez to “spell” up-and-coming comics John Belushi, Bette Midler, Robert Klein, David Brenner, Jimmie Walker and others at the famed comedy venue, The Improv.
In 1975, he was spotted by Warner Bros. Records talent scouts and was signed to a recording contract. His debut album for the label, We Got By, was released to unanimous acclaim. Al’s career breakthrough came in 1977 when Warner Brothers Records released Look to the Rainbow, his live double album, which was culled from his first world tour from that same year, and earned the vocalist his first Grammy® for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.
His fourth album, All Fly Home, was released in 1978 to further accolades and a second Grammy for Best Jazz Vocalist. It was followed by 1980’s This Time, and the million-selling Breakin' Away, which brought him a broader audience and two more Grammy’s with awards for Best Male Pop Vocalist and Best Male Jazz Vocalist.
In 1983 Jarreau was released, followed closely the following year by High Crime. Both albums spawned a string of R&B and pop hits, and further cemented him as an international superstar. Al Jarreau- Live in London, recorded before a SRO crowd at Wembley Arena in 1985, continued to solidify Jarreau’s reputation as a world-class master of both studio and stage. Following the live album, Jarreau teamed with top producer Nile Rodgers for L Is For Lover, which brought some new styles and sounds to the singer’s repertoire.
He continued to top the stateside charts in 1987 and became a weekly guest in America’s living rooms singing the Grammy® nominated theme song for the hit television series Moonlighting.
With hardly time to take a breath, he launched into the recording of the Heart’s Horizon album, which contained the #2 R&B smash »So Good« and earned him another GRAMMY® nomination. After touring the globe for nearly two years, he returned to the studio to fashion the sound that would launch him into his third decade of music-making. The result was 1992’s Heaven and Earth for which he received his fifth GRAMMY®. With this, he became one the rare artists to have won GRAMMY'S® in the three categories of jazz, pop, and R&B.
In 1994, Tenderness was released. On this Marcus Miller-produced gem, Jarreau is joined by an all-star cast (David Sanborn, Kathleen Battle, Joe Sample, Steve Gadd, to name a few) to bring us a host of familiar contemporary compositions and to revisit a few Jarreau classics.
1996 brought some exciting career challenges. While on a break from touring, Jarreau accepted a three-month stint on Broadway playing the role of Teen Angel in the hit musical Grease! Other recent credits include guest star appearances on New York Undercover or Touched By An Angel.
Called “the voice of versatility” by the Chicago Tribune and “one of the world’s greatest natural resources” by the Detroit News, Jarreau added a new chapter to his twenty-five-year recording career with Tomorrow Today (2001).
Al Jarreau received his own Star on the »Hollywood Walk of Fame«, in March 2001, commemorating his status as one of the best singers of his generation.
In 2004 his Accentuate The Positive (2004) album, was, once again, nominated for a Grammy.
Al’s 30th year in the music business saw another landmark with the pairing up with his peer the legendary R&B guitarist & singer, George Benson, for the album Givin’ It Up. Recorded in Spring of 2006, this record featured many guest artists including Herbie Hancock, Sir Paul McCartney, Jill Scott, Chris Botti and Patti Austin, amongst others musical veterans. Givin’ It Up was released to critical acclaim on October 24, 2006 and garnered 3 Grammy® nominations.
Still one of the hardest working men in show business, 2009 put together The Very Best of Al Jarreau: An Excellent Adventure.
Al continues to tour extensively worldwide, with his sextet and Symphony shows, and is currently in studio working on a new album.