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San Francisco cathedral names Bobby McFerrin as artist in residence

Episcopal Journal

Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco, has named Bobby McFerrin, a ten-time GRAMMY award winner and genre-defining virtuoso vocalist, as its 2023 Artist in Residence (AIR).

McFerrin, who catapulted into superstardom following the release of his sanguine 1988 hit, “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” continues to be an embodiment of artistic freedom and shows boundless levels of musicality, the cathedral said in a news release.

“Grace has offered a residency to artists to create work illuminating the cathedral’s vision and mission since 2012,” said cathedral dean Malcolm Clemens Young. “Bobby McFerrin is a deeply faithful person. His work is prayer in the purest form. He inspires me and his musical art brings us closer to the Holy. We are honored to host him and his quartet MOTION in our sacred space for all people to experience.”

McFerrin was recently honored by the Recording Academy with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his four decades of musical innovation, including his globally celebrated a cappella Record Of The Year, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

“Above all, Bobby’s art has always been about connecting people through the unlimited possibilities of our voices, and to open our hearts and minds to the creative spirit within ourselves,” the cathedral wrote on its website.

McFerrin will complement the theme of “Year of Poetry” by bringing six days of his well-known circlesongschool workshop to the cathedral, which will include The Unbroken Circlesong: 24 Hours of Circlesongs, inviting singers of all levels to join him and his international faculty in spontaneous vocal adventures. He and MOTION also offer Circlesongs monthly before the Choral Eucharist Service, usually on the third Sunday of the month.

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