Al Jarreau (1940-2017)

Seven-time Grammy Award singer Al Jarreau has passed away at the age of 76

The news comes after the singer was forced to end tours, and was admitted into hospital for exhaustion.

A statement on his Facebook reads:

“It is with the deepest of sadness to inform you Al Jarreau passed away this morning, at about 600am LA time. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by his wife, son, and a few of his family and friends. A small, private service is planned, for immediate family only. No public service is planned yet this time.

The family asks that no flowers or gifts are sent. Instead, please consider a contribution to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, a wonderful organization which supports music opportunities, teachers, and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin … Even if you do not plan to contribute, please visit that page and give yourself a few minutes to watch a beautiful tribute video that Wisconsin Public Television produced to honor Al when he received his lifetime achievement award from the Foundation October.”

The Wisconsin native began his career performing in clubs, like Los Angeles’ Dino’s, The Troubadour, and Bitter End West. He soon made a name for himself after appearing on big time night shows, like The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live.

By the late 70s, he had received his first of many Grammy Awards. In 1978, he won Best Jazz Vocal Performance for Look to the Rainbow, and in 1979 for All Fly Home.

One of his most notable albums, Breakin’ Away was released in 1981, with his hit “We’re in This Love Together” – bringing him his fourth Grammy Award.

Jarreau also made the jump from jazz to R&B and pop. Recognized for his 13th studio release, Heaven and Earth. The album won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, and features Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green”, described as “showing Al Jarreau considerable prowess as a vocal interpreter and scat singer.”

The icon had a career than spanned more than five decades, and shared the stage with other greats like Chick Corea, Miles Davis and George Benson.

In 2001, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Al Jarreau joined JAZZ.FM91 in 2015 at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival for an interview, and some fun.

Only a few days again, Al Jarreau was forced to call off tours, click here to read.