A tribute to Al Jarreau

Alwin Lopez Jarreau

The one and only  -  treasured – beloved

Following the news of Al’s illness last week it is with very heavy hearts that we must tell you that, tragically, he lost his battle for life and passed away in Los Angeles early this morning.

It is our understanding that his wife and son and a few very close family friends were with him.
Al has suffered several occasions of ill health over the over the past few years, but with his indomitable spirit and lust for life and love of music – he always bounced back to bring more joy to millions of people across the globe.

The world is certainly a better place for Al’s presence, warmth and humanity.

We pray that he is at peace, with no more pain and we thank him for the abundant legacy of music he leaves us all.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

This is a very, very sad day.

The joyous relationship with Al and Marshall Arts began back in 1978 and what a fusion of styles Al brought to us; Soul, Jazz, Blues, Scat, Rock – it was all in there and was such a treat.

No one had heard anything like Take Five and over the following years Al just added more layers to his incredible interpretations of so many songs with amazing musicians, who, of course adore him. Al has the uncanny and legendary gift to mimic any instrument and has challenged many a great player.

Year after year Al has brought his magic. ‘Moonlighting’ was a wonderful time with the TV series credited as giving Bruce Willis his big break. Al seems to have been at the beginning of many things.

Whenever he walks into a room, he smiles and the sun comes out. He brings not only his talent, but a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. He has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation.

Indeed he worked as a rehabilitation counsellor in San Francisco – which shows his unselfish nature and tremendous care for others.

But it’s his music that had reached so many millions across the world. A great favourite at so many Festivals, he has been asked to return time after time to receive wonderful accolades.

His concerts were an amazing experience. There are simply too many amazing performances to mention. Montreux, Nordsee, Ronnie Scott’s, but the stand out was the fabulous night at Wembley Arena in 1984. Completely sold out and with very special guest David Sanborn. Footage of that night can still be seen online and sounds as fresh today as it did then.

He has been honoured with so many Awards throughout his Career – so many Grammys in different categories. Perhaps it is fitting that his passing is on the day of the Grammys—a stage he graced so often.

Each one of us in the Marshall Arts Family will continue to hold him in our hearts – with so much love and unending respect.