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Al Jarreau

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Al Jarreau

Jarreau in 1997
Background information
Birth name Alwin Lopez Jarreau
March 12, 1940
Born
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
February 12, 2017 (aged 76)
Died
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
• R&B
• soul
Genres
• pop
• jazz
• Singer
Occupation(s)
• musician
• Vocals
Instruments
• vocal percussion
Years active 1967–2017
• Reprise
• Warner Bros.
Labels • Concord
• Rhino
• Verve
• Joe Sample
• Chick Corea
• Kathleen Battle
• Miles Davis
• David Foster
• Jay Graydon
Associated acts
• David Sanborn
• Rick Braun
• George Benson
• Vesta Williams
• Ray Reach
• George Duke
Website aljarreau.com
Alwin Lopez Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017) was an American singer and
musician. He received a total of seven Grammy Awards and was nominated for over a
dozen more. Jarreau is perhaps best known for his 1981 album Breakin' Away. He also
sang the theme song of the 1980s television series Moonlighting, and was among the
performers on the 1985 charity song "We Are the World."

Contents

• 1 Early life and career

• 2 Career

• 3 Personal life

• 4 Illness and death

• 5 Discography

• 5.1 Studio Album

• 5.2 Live Album

• 5.3 Charting singles

• 5.4 Soundtrack inclusions

• 5.5 Guest appearances

• 6 Awards and nominations


• 6.1 Grammy Awards

• 6.2 Hall of Fame

• 6.3 Honorary degrees

• 7 References

• 8 External links

Early life and career[edit]

Al Jarreau during a concert in (Germany) in early 1981

Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 12, 1940,[1] the fifth of six children.
Jarreau's father was a Seventh-day Adventist Church minister and singer, and his mother
was a church pianist. Jarreau and his family sang together in church concerts and in
benefits, and he and his mother performed at PTA meetings.[2]
Jarreau was student council president and Badger Boys State delegate for Lincoln High
School. At Boys State, he was elected governor.[3] Jarreau went on to attend Ripon
College, where he also sang with a group called the Indigos. He graduated in 1962 with a
Bachelor of Science in psychology.[1] Two years later, in 1964, he earned a master's
degree in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Iowa. Jarreau also worked as
a rehabilitation counselor in San Francisco, and moonlighted with a jazz trio headed
by George Duke. In 1967, he joined forces with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez.[4] The duo
became the star attraction at a small Sausalito night club called Gatsby's. This success
contributed to Jarreau's decision to make professional singing his life and full-time career.
[5]
Career[edit]

1986: Jarreau in concert in West Berlin.

1996: Jarreau performing at the Molde International Jazz Festival.

2006: Jarreau in Wrocław.

2008: Jarreau in Kiev.


In 1968, Jarreau made jazz his primary occupation. In 1969, Jarreau and Martinez headed
south, where Jarreau appeared at Dino's, The Troubadour, and Bitter End West. Television
exposure came from Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, and David
Frost. He expanded his nightclub appearances, performing at The Improv between the
acts of such rising stars as Bette Midler, Jimmie Walker, and John Belushi.[6] During this
period, he became involved with the United Church of Religious Science and the Church
of Scientology. Also, roughly at the same time, he began writing his own lyrics, finding that
his Christian spirituality began to influence his work.[2]
In 1975, Jarreau was working with pianist Tom Canning when he was spotted by Warner
Bros. Records. On Valentine's Day 1976 he sang on the thirteenth episode of
NBC's Saturday Night Live, that week hosted by Peter Boyle.[7] Soon he released his
critically acclaimed debut album, We Got By, which catapulted him to international fame
and won an Echo Award (the German equivalent of the Grammys in the United States). A
second Echo Award would follow with the release of his second album, Glow.[8] In 1978, he
won his first Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for his album, Look to the
Rainbow.[9]
One of Jarreau's most commercially successful albums is Breakin' Away (1981), which
includes the hit song "We're in This Love Together". He won the 1982 Grammy Award for
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for Breakin' Away.[10] In 1984, his single "After All"
reached 69 on the US Hot 100 chart and number 26 on the R&B chart. It was especially
popular in the Philippines. His last big hit was the Grammy-nominated theme to the 1980s
American television show Moonlighting, for which he wrote the lyrics. Among other things,
he was well known for his extensive use of scat singing (for which he was called "Acrobat
of Scat"[11]), and vocal percussion. He was also a featured vocalist on USA for Africa's "We
Are the World" in which he sang the line, "...and so we all must lend a helping hand."
Another charitable media event, HBO's Comic Relief, featured him in a duet with Natalie
Cole singing the song "Mr. President", written by Joe Sterling, Mike Loveless, and Ray
Reach.[12]
Jarreau took an extended break from recording in the 1990s. As he explained in an
interview with Jazz Review: "I was still touring, in fact, I toured more than I ever had in the
past, so I kept in touch with my audience. I got my symphony program under way, which
included my music and that of other people too, and I performed on the Broadway
production of Grease. I was busier than ever! For the most part, I was doing what I have
always done...perform live. I was shopping for a record deal and was letting people know
that there is a new album coming. I was just waiting for the right label (Verve), but I toured
more than ever."[13] In 2003, Jarreau and conductor Larry Baird collaborated on symphony
shows around the United States, with Baird arranging additional orchestral material for
Jarreau's shows.[14][15][16]
Jarreau toured and performed with Joe Sample, Chick Corea, Kathleen Battle, Gregor
Praecht, Miles Davis, George Duke, David Sanborn[17] Rick Braun, and George Benson.
He also performed the role of the Teen Angel in a 1996 Broadway production
of Grease. On March 6, 2001, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 7083
Hollywood Boulevard on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.[18] In
2006, Jarreau appeared in a duet with American Idol finalist Paris Bennett during the
Season 5 finale and on Celebrity Duets singing with actor Cheech Marin. In 2010, Jarreau
was a guest on a Eumir Deodato album, with the song "Double Face" written by Jarreau,
Deodato, and Nicolosi. The song was produced by the Italian company Nicolosi
Productions. On February 16, 2012, he was invited to the famous Italian Festival di
Sanremo to sing with the Italian group Matia Bazar.
Personal life[edit]
Jarreau was married twice. Jarreau and Phyllis Hall were married from 1964 until their
divorce in 1968.[5][11] Jarreau's second wife was model Susan Elaine Player, who was
fourteen years his junior. They were married from 1977 until his death in 2017 and had a
son.[19] In 2009, children's author Carmen Rubin published the story Ashti Meets Birdman
Al, inspired by Jarreau's music.[20] He wrote the foreword for the book and read from it
across the world. Jarreau and Rubin worked together to promote literacy and the
importance of keeping music alive in children.

Illness and death[edit]


It was reported on July 23, 2010, that Jarreau was critically ill at a hospital in France, after
performing in Barcelonnette, and was being treated for respiratory problems and
cardiac arrhythmias.[21][22] Jarreau was conscious, in a stable condition and in the
cardiology unit of La Timone hospital in Marseille, the Marseille Hospital Authority said. He
remained there for about a week for tests.[23]
In June 2012, Jarreau was diagnosed with pneumonia, which caused him to cancel
several concerts in France.[24] Jarreau made a full recovery and continued to tour
extensively for the next 5 years until February 2017.[25][26]
On February 8, 2017, after being hospitalized for exhaustion in Los Angeles, Jarreau
cancelled his remaining 2017 tour dates.[27] On that date, the Montreux Jazz Academy,
part of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, announced that Jarreau would not return
as a mentor to ten young artists, as he had done in 2015.[28][29]
On February 12, 2017, Jarreau died of respiratory failure, at the age of 76, just two days
after announcing his retirement, and one month before his 77th birthday.[11][30][31]
He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), not far from his
longtime friend George Duke.

Discography[edit]
Studio Album[edit]
• We Got By (Reprise, 1975)
• Glow (Reprise, 1976)
• Look to the Rainbow (Warner Bros., 1977)
• All Fly Home (Warner Bros., 1978)
• Call Me (Koala 1979)
• Lonely Town, Lonely Street (Koala 1979)
• This Time (Warner Bros., 1980)
• Breakin' Away (Warner Bros., 1981)
• 1965 (Bainbridge, 1982)[32]
• Jarreau (Warner Bros., 1983)
• High Crime (Warner Bros., 1984)
• L Is for Lover (Warner Bros., 1986)
• Heart's Horizon (Reprise, 1988)
• Heaven and Earth (Reprise, 1992)
• Tenderness (Reprise, 1994)
• Tomorrow Today (GRP, 1999)
• Lean On Me (The Essence 1999)
• All I Got (GRP, 2002)
• Accentuate the Positive (Verve, 2004)
• Givin' It Up with George Benson (Concord, 2006)
• Christmas (Rhino, 2008)[33]
• Love & Happiness (Silver Star, 2008)
• My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke (Concord, 2014)[34]
Live Album[edit]
• In Concert Live at London's Wembley Arena (Westwood One, 1984)
• In London (Warner Bros., 1985)
• Everybody Is a Star: Live in Tokyo (Jazz Hour, 2010)
• Live at the Half Note 1965 Volume 1 with George Duke (BPM, 2011)[35]
• Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkest Live (Concord, 2012)
• Live at Montreux 1993 (Universal, 2016)

Charting singles[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions[36][37][38]


US Pop US R&B US A/C US Jazz CA A/C UK NZ NL BE FR

1976 "Rainbow in Your Eyes" — 92 — x — — — — — —


1977 "Take Five" — 91 — x — — — — — —
1978 "Thinkin' About It Too" — 55 — x — — — — — —
"Distracted" — 61 — x — — — — — —
1980 "Gimme What You Got" — 63 — x — — — — — —
"Never Givin' Up" 102 26 — x — — — — — —
1981 "We're in This Love Together" 15 6 6 x 1 55 24 — — —
"Breakin' Away" 43 25 — x — — — — — —
"Teach Me Tonight" 70 51 — x — — — — — —
1982 "Your Precious Love"
(with Randy Crawford)
102 16 — x — — — — — —
"Roof Garden" — — — x — — — 3 4 134
"Boogie Down" 77 9 — x — 63 — 23 30 136
1983
"Mornin'" (credited as Jarreau) 21 6 2 x 3 28 — 24 26 119
"Trouble in Paradise" 63 66 — x — 36 — — — —
1984 "After All" 69 26 6 x 5 — — — — —
"Day By Day" — — — x — 53 — 46 — —
1985 (with Shakatak)
"Raging Waters" — 42 — x — — — — — —
"L Is for Lover" — 42 — x — — — — — —
1986 "Tell Me What I Gotta Do" — 37 — x — — — — — —
"The Music of Goodbye" — — 16 x — — — — — —
"Tell Me What I Gotta Do" — — — x — — — 99 — —
1987
"Moonlighting" 23 32 1 x — 8 36 — — —
1988 "So Good" — 2 — x — — — — — —
"All of My Love" — 69 — x — — — — — —
1989
"All or Nothing at All" — 59 — x — — — — — —
"Blue Angel" — 74 — x — — — — — —
1992
"It's Not Hard to Love You" — 36 — x — — — — — —
2006 "Mornin'"
(with George Benson)
— — — 1 — — — — — —
2007 "Ordinary People" — — — 23 — — — — — —
2009 "Winter Wonderland" — — — 21 — — — — — —
2012 "Double Face" — — — 23 — — — — — —
2014 "Bring Me Joy" — — — 5 — — — — — —
2015 "SomeBossa" — — — 11 — — — — — —
2018 "All One" — — — 17 — — — — — —
"—" denotes the release did not chart. "x" denotes the chart did not exist at the time.

Soundtrack inclusions[edit]
• 1982: "Girls Know How", in the film Night Shift (Warner Bros)
• 1984: "Moonlighting (theme)" and "Since I Fell for You", in the television
show Moonlighting (Universal)
• 1984: "Boogie Down", in the film Breakin' (Warner Bros)
• 1984: "Million Dollar Baby", in the film City Heat (Warner Bros)
• 1986: "The Music of Goodbye", duet with Melissa Manchester, in the film Out of
Africa (MCA Records)
• 1989: "Never Explain Love", in the film Do the Right Thing (Motown)
• 1992: "Blue Skies", in the film Glengarry Glen Ross (New Line Cinema)
• 1992: "Heaven Is", in the film The Magic Voyage (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen)
Guest appearances[edit]
• 1978: "Hot News Blues" from Secret Agent/Chick Corea (Polydor)
• 1979: "Little Sunflower" from The Love Connection/Freddie Hubbard (Columbia)
• 1983: "Bet Cha Say That to All the Girls" from Bet Cha Say That to All the Girls/Sister
Sledge (Cotillion)
• 1984: "Edgartown Groove" from Send Me Your Love/Kashif (Arista)
• 1985: "We Are the World" from We Are the World/USA for
Africa (Columbia) US No. 1, R&B No. 1 UK No. 1
• 1986: "Since I Fell for You" from Double Vision/Bob James & David Sanborn (Warner
Bros.)
• 1987: "Day by Day" from City Rhythms/Shakatak
• 1997: "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" from Doky Brothers 2/Chris Minh Doky/Niels
Lan Doky (Blue Note Records)
• 1997: "Girl from Ipanema" and "Waters of March" from A Twist of Jobim/Lee
Ritenour (GRP)
• 2010: "Whisper Not" from New Time, New Tet/Benny Golson (Concord Jazz)
• 1974: "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" from Body Heat/Quincy Jones (A&M) (Jarreau provides
background scat and vocal percussion.)
• 1982: "Your Precious Love (w/Randy Crawford)" from Casino Lights: Recorded Live At
Montreux, Switzerland (Various Artists) (Warner Bros.)
• 2000: "Here's to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years!" (David Benoit album)
• 2008: "Whisper Not" on New Time, New 'Tet (Benny Golson)
• 1998: "Smile and Pierrot (w/Gregor Prächt)" with Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, David Benoit,
arranged by George Duke
• 2006: "Take Five (w/Kurt Elling)" from Legends Of Jazz With Ramsey Lewis Showcase
(Various Artists) (LRS Media)
• 1989: "Somehow Our Love Survives" from Spellbound/Joe Sample (Warner Bros.)

Awards and nominations[edit]


Grammy Awards[edit]
Year
Nominee/work Category Result Ref.
Awarded
[39]
1978 Look to the Rainbow Won [40]
Best Jazz Vocal Performance
1979 All Fly Home Won [41]

"Never Givin' Up" Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male Nominated


[42]
1981 In Harmony: A Sesame Street [43]
Best Recording for Children Won
Record (featuring various artists)
Album of the Year (shared with Jay Nominated
Breakin' Away Graydon)

1982 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Won [44]


"(Round, Round, Round) Blue
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male Won
Rondo à la Turk"
Producer of the Year (Non-
Nominated
Classical) (for Jay Graydon)
Jarreau Best Engineered Recording – Non-
Classical (for Ian Eales, Jay Graydon & Eric Nominated
Prestis)
[45]
1984 Best Instrumental Arrangement [46]
"Mornin'" Accompanying Vocal(s) (for David Nominated
Foster, Jay Graydon & Jeremy Lubbock)
Best Instrumental Arrangement
"Step by Step" Accompanying Vocal(s) (shared with Nominated
Tom Canning, Jay Graydon & Jerry Hey)
"Edgartown Best R&B Performance by a Duo or
1985 Nominated [47]
Groove" (featuring Kashif) Group with Vocal
We Are the World (as a part of USA Album of the Year (shared with Quincy Nominated
for Africa featuring various artists) Jones)
Record of the Year (shared with Quincy Won
Jones)
Song of the Year (for Michael Won
Jackson & Lionel Richie)
1986 "We Are the World" (as a part [48]
of USA for Africa)
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or
Group With Vocals (shared with Quincy Won
Jones)
Best Music Video, Short Form (shared Won
with Quincy Jones & Tom Trbovich)
High Crime Nominated
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
1987 "Since I Fell for You" Nominated [49]

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Nominated


1988 "Moonlighting (theme)" (from the Best Song Written Specifically for a [50]
TV series Moonlighting)
Motion Picture or Television (shared Nominated
with Lee Holdridge)
1990 Heart's Horizon Nominated [51]

1993 Heaven and Earth Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male Won [52]

1995 "Wait for the Magic" Nominated [53]

2005 Accentuate the Positive Best Jazz Vocal Album Nominated


Best R&B Performance by a Duo or
"Breezin'" (featuring George Benson) Nominated
Group with Vocals
2007 "God Bless the Best Traditional R&B Vocal
Child" (featuring George Benson & Jill Won
Scott)
Performance
[54]
Live (featuring the Metropole Orkest) Best Jazz Vocal Album Nominated
Best Instrumental Arrangement
"Spain (I Can Recall)" Accompanying Vocalist(s) (for Vincent Nominated
2013 Mendoza)
JumpinJazz Kids – A Swinging
Jungle Tale (featuring James Murray & Best Children's Album Nominated
various artists)
Hall of Fame[edit]
Year Awarded Category Ref.
2001 Hollywood Walk of Fame [55]

2012 SoulMusic Hall of Fame at SoulMusic.com [56]


Honorary degrees[edit]
Year Awarded Degree University Ref.
1991 Honorary Doctorate of Music Berklee College of Music [57]

2004 Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee [58]


Graduated Degrees

B.SC. Physical Therapy M.A. Rehabilitation Therapy

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