Alwyn Lopez "Al" Jarreau (born March 12, 1940, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States) is an American singer. A seven-time Grammy Award winner, he is the only vocalist in history to win in three separate categories: jazz, pop, and R&B. He also won the Grammys within a span of four consecutive decades ??? the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
Al Jarreau at book drive event held at the Department of Education on August 25, 2004.
Al Jarreau during a concert in Germany in early 1981
Al Jarreau in Wroc?aw, Poland; June 25th, 2006
Al Jarreau headlining "Jazz in Kiev 2008" festival
Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the fifth of six children. His web site refers to Reservoir, Inc. the name of the street in Milwaukee he lived on. His father was a Seventh-Day Adventist Church minister and singer, and his mother was a church pianist. He and his family sang together in church concerts, and also performed in benefits. He and his mother performed at PTA meetings as well.
He was the president of the student council at high school, going on to receive a scholarship to Ripon College, where he also sang non-professionally with a group called the Indigos, and graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor Of Science degree in Psychology. He went on to earn a master's degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Iowa and worked as a rehabilitation counselor in San Francisco while also performing evenings with a jazz trio headed by George Duke.
In 1967, he joined forces with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez. The duo became the star attraction at a small Sausalito night club called Gatsby's. This success contributed to Jarreau's decision to make professional singing his life and fulltime career.
In 1968, Jarreau made jazz his primary occupation. In 1969, Jarreau and Martinez headed south, where Jarreau appeared in such Los Angeles hot spots as Dino's, the Troubadour and Bitter End West. Television exposure came from Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and David Frost, while he expanded his nightclub appearances to include performing at The Improv between the acts of such rising-star comics as Bette Midler, Jimmie Walker, and John Belushi, among others. During this period, he underwent an emotional trauma which prompted him to rethink matters of life and death. He became involved with the United Church of Religious Science and the Church of Scientology. Also, roughly at the same time, he began writing his own lyrics, finding that his spiritual tendencies began to impact and even shape his work.
In 1975, Jarreau was working with pianist Tom Canning when he was spotted by Warner Bros. Records and soon thereafter released his critically acclaimed debut album, We Got By, which catapulted him to international fame and garnered him a German Grammy Award. A second German Grammy would follow with the release of his second album, Glow.
One of Jarreau's most commercially and artistically successful albums is Breakin' Away (1981), which includes the hit song "We're in This Love Together." He wrote and performed the Grammy-nominated theme to the 1980s American television show Moonlighting. Among other things, he is well-known for his scat singing and the ability to imitate conventional guitar, bass and percussive instrumentation. He was also a featured vocalist on USA for Africa's "We Are the World" in which he sang the line, "...and so we all must lend a helping hand." Another charitable media event, HBO's Comic Relief, featured Al in a duet with Natalie Cole singing the song "Mr. President," written by Joe Sterling, Mike Loveless and Ray Reach.
In 2003 Jarreau and conductor Larry Baird collaborated together doing symphony shows around the United States, with Baird arranging additional orchestral material for Jarreau's shows.
He has toured and performed with numerous musicians, including Joe Sample, Kathleen Battle, Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Rick Braun and George Benson. He also performed the role of the Teen Angel in a 1996 Broadway production of Grease. On , 2001 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star is located at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.
Al Jarreau appeared in a duet with American Idol finalist Paris Bennett during the Season 5 finale and on Celebrity Duets singing with actor Cheech Marin.
Jarreau has been married twice. His first marriage, to Phyllis Hall, lasted from 1964-1968. His second wife was model Susan Player whom he married in 1977. Jarreau and Player have one adult son together, Ryan.