STUDENT BLOG: Don't Worry, Be Happy: McFerrin's Workshop
August 24, 2011
Catawba College sophomore Allijah Motika of Asheville will participate in a vocal workshop August 28 through September 2 with ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin. The workshop will take place at the Omega Center in Rhinebeck, N.Y.
During the workshop, Allijah will report on his experiences via blog entries that will be available on the Catawba College website. Along with participants from around the world, he will be joined at the workshop by two Catawba College Alumnae Kat Tierney '11 and Megan McLaughlin '10.
Allijah is majoring in Music at Catawba and at the workshop, he plans to focus on vocal improvisation.
The 61-year-old Bobby McFerrin is perhaps best known for his song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" that was a No. 1 U.S. pop hit in 1988 and won Song of the Year and Record of the Year honors. McFerrin has also collaborated with instrumental performers, including pianists Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul and Chick Corea, drummer Tony Williams, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
McFerrin has a distinct vocal technique, switching rapidly between modal and falsetto registers to create polyphonic effects, performing both the main melody and the accompanying parts of songs. Using both his mouth and tapping on his chest, he also makes use of percussive effects. His 1984 album, "The Voice," documents his unique approach to singing and was the first solo vocal jazz album recorded with no accompaniment or overdubbing.