July 25, 2021

Bobby McFerrin closes Jazz festival with record audience

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo (Mexico) celebrated its 16th edition. Photo: EFE

Bobby McFerrin, winner of 10 Grammy awards, closed today, December 3, 2018, the 16th edition of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival with a record attendance of the public that has exceeded the expectations of the organizers.

The massive attendance to the third and last concert of the festival, which is held in the Mamitas Beach Club from Carmen beach (Mexico,) embraced this beatbox genius, who broke stage barriers with his a cappella hit “Dont Worry, Be Happy” and his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea and the Vienna Philharmonic.

Finally the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival He enjoyed this mythical artist who was supposed to close the contest last year, but could not because a great storm forced him to suspend his concert.

Bobby grew up surrounded by music of all kinds. His father, Robert McFerrin, baritone of the Metropolitan Opera from New York, was the singing voice of Sydney Poitier in the film version of Porgy & Bess, and his mother Sara was an excellent solo soprano and voice teacher.

As a child he “hid under the piano” while his parents taught music to students, so he grew up in a home filled with tunes by Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Etta Jones and Fred Astaire.

He learned the clarinet as a child, but began his musical career as a pianist at the age of 14. He led his own jazz groups, studied composition, and toured with the band The Ice Follies.

And one day he had an inspiration: “I was walking home and I understood that he was a singer”, although his past as an instrumentalist and group leader is key to understanding his style.

“I can’t sing everything at once,” he says, “but I can hint it so the audience hears what I’m not singing.”

Nor is virtuosity in his sights: “I try not to perform on stage,” says Bobby.

“I try to sing like I sing in my kitchen, because I can’t help it. I want the audience to leave the theater and sing in their own kitchens the next morning. I want to convey the incredible feeling of joy and freedom that I have when I sing ”, he explained before jumping on stage.

Lalah Hathaway, singer, songwriter, producer and DJ previously performed in a presentation in which she knew how to interact with the public.

Lalah’s inspiration comes from the music itself: “It doesn’t come from anything concrete but from the music itself, which is an entity present in my days and nights,” he said at a press conference prior to today’s concert.

Thanks to this musical experience 24 hours a day, Lalah, who has completed 30 years of musical career in 2018, has developed an unparalleled vocal capacity.

“Life is continuous learning and you learn by trying. The fundamental thing is to never stop moving forward and strive passionately to achieve what you want ”, said the artist who has more than a thousand compositions to her credit.
Completed the final night trio, Pepe Hernández with contagious melodies mixing funk Y Latin jazz that they invited to the dance.

Bassist, composer and musical director, Pepe Hernández is one of the most requested bassists in Mexico, since it covers a large number of musical styles.
With more than 500 recorded albums and a 35-year career, he has shared the stage with great artists such as Luis Miguel.

In addition, with six albums as a soloist, Pepe is considered one of the most prolific composers in the world. Jazz on Mexico thanks to the fact that its rhythms are pure ocean, a breeze that does not stop from its native beach of Acapulco.

“My inspiration comes from the sea. I am a beach boy ”, affirmed. And good proof of this is that today he presented a new song with an ironic play on words in English: “I am a son of the beach”.

Born into a family of musicians from his grandfather to his father, his brothers also belong to the musical world. One is the musical director of Alejandro Fernandez, the other pianist is in Australia and “the black sheep is a biologist in the Riviera maya“.

Given the success of the festival, the mission for the next edition is to expand the musical culture to the entire city of Carmen beach and beyond.
In fact, this year 2018, alternative activities have been presented that have benefited thousands of people in the city.

Seven concerts have been organized for the promotion of local bands in the theater of Playa del Carmen and musical classes have been organized in the cultural center.

“Our mission now will also be to expand opportunities for local talents in collaboration with the cultural entities of the area and their leaders,” said Darío Flota, director of the festival and General Director of the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo.