McFerrin began his musical career at the tender age of six in New York when he began studying music theory. In 1977 he moved to New Orleans and joined a band called Astral Projections, where his interests shifted from piano to vocals. It wasn't until he moved back to California in 1980 that he met Bill Cosby who arranged for McFerrin's vocal debut at the 1980 Playboy Jazz Festival. This led to a recording contract with Elektra and a 1982 release of his self-titled debut. The 1980s were full of award winning albums and endeavors by McFerrin. Before his monster success with the 1988 release Simple Pleasures, which featured "Don't Worry, Be Happy," McFerrin had already won two Grammys for Another Night in Tunsia. 1992 saw two more collaborative releases by McFerrin, including Hush, which featured cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, and Play, which contained noted performances of jazz standards with Chick Corea. The latter won McFerrin his 10th Grammy award. In 1994, McFerrin became the Creative Chairperson to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra where he developed CONNECT and established himself as a classical conductor and soloist.His work with the Bang!Zoom jazz quartet was featured on the album of the same name in 1996. McFerrin is currently putting his efforts into composing an opera for the San Francisco Opera. His latest release, Circlesongs, was released in 1997.