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Al Jarreau Biography


Home > Music > J > Jarreau, Al > Biography


Birth Name: Alwyn Lopez Jarreau
Born: 1940/03/12
Birth Place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Soul, Funk


Alwin Lopez Jarreau was born on March 12, 1940 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a seven-time Grammy Award-winning jazz singer. Jarreau was born into a musical household with a singing church minister for a father and a church pianist for a mother. Jarreau was introduced to music as an infant listening to his parents and siblings sing at home. By the time he was a toddler, he was singing with his family at church concerts and community benefits.

During college, Jarreau sang with a group called the Indigos, and by the time he graduated from graduate school he was performing with a jazz trio headed by George Duke. 1967 saw Jarreau try to branch out and focus on his own music. He began a collaboration with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez. and the duo began to perform around town, building a local following and quickly became a star attraction at the club called Gatsby's. After their small town success, Jarreau and Martinez headed to Los Angeles, playing clubs such as Dino's, The Troubadour, and Bitter End West. The duo also landed spots on television, including “The Johnny Carson Show,” “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The David Frost Show.” The duo also made appearances at numerous nightclubs performing with acts such as Bette Midler and John Belushi.

In 1975 saw Jarreau working with pianist Tom Canning, which lead to a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records and the release of his debut album, “We Got By,” which met with critical acclaim. The album generated international fame and earned Jarreau a German Grammy Award. A second German Grammy followed for Jarreau's second offering, “Glow.” Jarreau's third studio album, “Breakin' Away” arrived in1981 and was a huge commercial success while producing the single “We're In This Love Together.” Jarreau collaborated and worked with a number of artists during the 1980's, such as Natalie Cole. As the 1990s rolled around, Jarreau took time off from his extensive touring schedule and the music business altogether.

2001 saw Jarreau received a star on the Hollywood Walk in California, while 2003 marked Jarreau's collaboration with conductor Larry Baird on a number of symphony shows that toured throughout the United States. Jarreau has also toured and performed with Miles Davis and George Benson. In 2010, Jarreau contributed the track, “Double Face” to Eumir Deodato’s album.