Monday, February 13, 2017

Al Jarreau Legendary Jazz Singer Dead at 76

Al Jarreau, the legendary jazz singer who won 7 Grammy Awards, has died at the age of 76, according to multiple news sources. His passing comes two days after an announcement was made on his website that he was retiring from touring due to exhaustion.
The singer died early Sunday, according to a statement from his manager Joe Gordon. Gordon said in lieu of flowers or gifts, Jarreau's family requested contributions be made to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music.
Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1940. His father was a minister and he started singing in church as a young boy. Jarreau told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it was at Lincoln High School where "my love of music and singing really deepened. I began to have ideas of taking this as far as it could go. And I kept dreaming that dream and nourishing that dream."

He went out to San Francisco and made a name for himself singing with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez. Jarreau moved on to Los Angeles and sang at clubs like The Troubador. He appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and sang on “Saturday Night Live” during their first season. Jarreau became known for his rhythmic scat singing. He was signed to Warner Brothers Records and released his debut record titled “We Got By,” which led to international fame.  
His most successful album “Breakin’ Away” came out in 1981 and featured his biggest song, “We’re in This Love Together,” a smooth jazz-pop track. Jarreau has released 20 albums during his career and is the only Grammy vocalist to win in the jazz, pop and R&B categories. The singer performed many concerts in the past year including a performance at the White House.

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