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May 20th, 2009
Taylor McFerrin and his Dad, Bobby

In this father son duet, Taylor and Bobby McFerrin improvise a new a capella tune.

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  • eddie d williams

    I was so happy to stumble upon this video of Bobby McFerrin and his Son Taylor. I am also very happy to see that Bobby has successfully passed on his gift of music. I am looking forward to watching the musical program on June 24th @9pm.

  • ro schultheiss

    What a delight! I was so happy listening and watching these great men. Such talent. Thank you Thirteen for such treasures,

  • Jenifer

    No doubt that the talent is inherit in all from father Robert to Bobby to son Taylor. I get very emotional when I hear Bobby perform. Wednesday, I will get my mind educated about the basic elements of music and our brain’s reaction. It’s all so “Right brain/left Brain.”

  • Sandra Kilpatrick Jordan

    congratulations to Elena Mannes and the many wonderful and iconic artists, scientists, producers, broadcasters and institutions who made this program possible. I hope it will shift the world’s consciousness — it is our primal need and our right to create and share music.

  • Paula

    Wow, this is cool. I didn’t know he had a son with musical talent.

  • Suzanne

    Bravo! I really enjoyed this.

  • ayeroxor

    Lovely, but can’t Junior sing? :-/

  • Hannah

    Get a load of this….

  • Francis Estrand

    Beauty, joy, happiness, it makes me cry.

  • Fletch

    That’s awesome. I’m really impressed. They seem to combine a variety of musical styles into one unique performance.

  • Jill

    What a great improvisation!! I often build improvisatory opportunities into my lessons in the elementary music classroom. Students try improvisations as a whole class. Then if they like what they came up with, I allow them to share their solo with the class. Sometimes I join in, or let two students improv. together. They are VERY open to this and get better at it each time they try.

  • shravak

    simply great skill and spontanity. I came Across the video and song ‘dont worry be happy “while searching for meher baba’s( meherabad ,india) songs

    i wish all the bliss and truthful journey for bobby and his son taylor ..

  • Jeff

    Looks like Taylor may have inherited a gift for rhythm but not for music. Bobby’s gift for both music and rhythm is exceptional. Reminds me a little of Thelonious Monk, a musical genius, and his son T.S. Monk, who didn’t have the musical talent but who became a good drummer.

  • Matthew

    So rhythm is not music? Percussion isn’t musical?

    This video rocks.

  • Jeff

    You are correct, percussion isn’t music. It enhances music, it plays a supporting role to music, it may be an element of music, but it is not the sine qua non of music. Musical notes, arranged in melodies and harmonies with various temporalities, form the sine qua non of music. Drummers are cool, but they ain’t Miles Davis, nor would a Miles Davis bang on a set of drums, or thump on this adams apple, to the exclusion of his trumpet. Thelonious Monk, with his incredible ear, heard clearly his son’s lack of musical ability and directed him to the drums. If I had a child with no musical talent, I would have him play the drums as well, or beatbox. He or she could still join in with the band and have a good time.

  • HP

    It is ridiculous to say that percussion isn’t music. rhythm and groove is the foundation of music. Look to ancient & modern cultures around the world, and it is the drum that begins he pulse of different cultures’ sound and message.

    Yes, melody and harmony provide texture, density, dynamics, and thematic movement, but to say that rhythmic instruments only enhance music is similar to saying that a painter’s lines only enhance the colors that surround it.

    ..& Miles didn’t have drummers banging on drum sets. He had amazing musicians like Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones, Jack DeJohnette & Billy Cobham, creating music and cultivating the groove that Miles seeked out to create and collaborate.

  • Tony

    I was enjoying the program, and then my heart sank when it went in the (unfortunately inevitable) direction of how music affects other skills/disciplines. The phrase “more practical” was even used, as if music is intrinsically impractical in and of itself. This is a major failing of music advocacy in my opinion. Music IS important in and of itself, not just as a means to some other end.

  • Pat Jessee

    percussion is not music
    1 note is not music-10 may not be music..
    the soul is not the body- but they live together
    the make each possible – enriching each other- soul comes out of the body thru movement, sound,
    the heart beats it’s beat-setting the pace – synchronizing all around to invite them into the souls journey…the beat is there it must be- like breath.

  • jeff

    beat is beat, music is music, music encompasses all, including beat. Genius, like Bobby, has it all. The children of a lesser god, they gotta go alone with the beat.

  • Derek

    Taylor looks like Laurence Fishburne

  • koto

    saying rhythm, or percussion is separate from music is like saying time is separate from space – it is absurd. A musical note, phrase, expression or statement is equally pitch, rhythm, timbre and any other musical quality you could care to name, and percussion is no different. If you imagine percussion has no pitch or timbre, then you clearly don’t understand music fully.

  • mgsmith

    This is cool, but I have to agree. I wouldn’t really call beat boxing ‘musical talent’.

  • Ariel

    This is just wonderful :)
    I love the ending.. “Alright”.
    ahahaha <33

  • beto diaz

    ritmo, melodía y armonía integran la musica como tal, la libertad musical depende de las necesidades elegidas previamente.
    La fusión Bobby y Taylor probablemente no llene las espectativas de los receptores, Padre e hijo como emisores tan solo nos comparten musicalmente un ensayo hecho en prosa…

  • Oxhomiyajeet

    This was cool, but more in a novelty sort of way. (I say this with some trepidtion, given the learned comments that have preceeded mine.) I’m a fan of good old Bobby McF. The man’s a genius, though perhaps not a pioneer. I doubt that the novelty of this performance with Taylor will hold beyond a piece or two of this type. Especially in this age of limited attention spans. But, as mentioned, the man’s a genius, so I’m sure he’ll find a way to parlay this into something new. Or atleast I hope so.

  • baysun

    My students in Japan will really dig this! Google Bobby with Yo Yo Ma
    performing Ave Maria…

  • SaM HiLL

    Apparently, my standards for what constitutes musical genius are a bit higher than most of the other posters.

  • Terry Marshall

    I thought it was rubbish.

  • stebun

    It takes us to a place we don’t get to very often.

  • Kadlua

    I am not really a fan of this type of music but I can say that it was cool. I did enjoy the last two minutes; even though it was not sung very high- it was like a opera with a beat.

  • Peter

    In all honesty. I heard no real synchronicity between them. They never really got into a common grove. Maybe it’s just me. I think they would sound better separately.

  • Nick

    Sick hair, and very cool sounds.

  • Frog Head

    I like how his son just so happens to have the same exact talent.

  • Paco De

    @ Kadlua. It actually WAS opera with a beat. I can’t place piece and composer, but I don’t think it’s original. Can anyone else help out here? It is still pretty impressive as he quotes the piece, then improvises like any good jazz player.

    Regarding the percussion/music debate, it’s really besides the point. The real point is, from this video only as I haven’t seen Taylor in anything else, it’s clear that he does not have the musical talent that his father has. Do you think a showman like Bobby would turn down the chance to switch off with his son, take the beat and let Taylor riff out, if he could?

  • anon

    Ever notice that his son really looks like Laurence Fishburne?

  • tim

    Is it just me, or does this sound like the beginning of “the Cosby Show” ?

  • Caitlin


  • CHase

    The young one looks like Laurence Fishburne. Just saying.

  • kayla

    wow that was wonderful

  • Pawan

    That is something awesome and extraordinary.

  • ashley

    you all are so good

  • mz. graytron bureau

    your hair is so cool and i just love your music so much

  • Rubens

    It’s only genetics or is the power of love?

  • vicky

    The music was ok, but I was so distracted by whatever that is growing out of the kids head that I couldn’t really enjoy it.

  • Nick

    Taylor reminds me of Justin Timberlake with intense hair.
    The video was pretty interesting though!

  • Lou

    Simply excellent. Thanks much for sharing this.

  • Alexandra

    Where you people are living to join you…..? ;-)

  • musicjulia

    I don’t think you can judge anyone’s degree of musical talent from a three minute excerpt. Taylor and Bobby agreed that Taylor was the beatboxer. If Taylor wants to go in a more melodic direction some time, he might do that. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  • Dee Jay

    I’d like to see the score for that one!

  • Jody Mayfield

    wow, I remember when I was at the Nice Jazz Fest in ‘81 and he was holding his infant soon!

  • musicdude

    Why does Bobby McFerrin’s son have antlers?

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