Playing the Audience

Sean at Cosmic Variance just posted this fantastic video of Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival. Watch. Love.

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

A lot of people may only know Bobby McFerrin for Don’t Worry, Be Happy and assume that the simple and somewhat annoying song is all he has to offer. That’s a shame, because he’s a wildly talented musician who, as demonstrated in this clip, has an incredibly infectious energy. Also, no, he didn’t commit suicide as rumored.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Very cool. I first experienced Bobby McFerrin back in the mid-80s, well before Don’t Worry Be Happy was a hit. My best friend’s dad was a fan and had a couple of his albums.

  2. Bobby McFerrin is still the bomb! I saw him a few years ago with a group of singers he was calling his Voicestra. They were all incredible.
    The great thing about him is that in addition to his talent and creativity, he’s so enthusiastic about sharing music.

  3. And this is exactly why we need to save music programs in K-12. Music is important to science, damnit.

  4. I actually never found “Don’t worry be happy” an irritating song at all. Sure, maybe it was irritating as a fad, but as a song I always thought it sounded very nice.

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