Famous jazz singer Al Jarreau, has passed away. Jarreau got his start in Milwaukee. He has his first paid gigs are the Pfister Hotel.
“Practically every night from stage, he would say, ‘I’m from Milwaukee,’ ” said fellow Milwaukee native Joe Turano, a member of Jarreau’s band for 17 years and his musical director since 2008.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports
When they met, Turano said, Jarreau asked, “‘You’re from Milwaukee? I never had a guy from Milwaukee in my band before.’ And he gave me a big hug.”
Jarreau, 76, died in a Los Angeles hospital early Sunday morning, with his wife, Susan, their son Ryan and a few friends and relatives by his side.
On Wednesday, Jarreau announced through his website that he would have to retire from touring on medical orders, due to “exhaustion.” A cause of death was not immediately known.
“He was just a great human and talented and wonderful to be around,” said friend Greg Marcus, CEO of the Marcus Corp. “He made you feel good. The world has lost someone special.”
Jarreau’s parting request: that mourners consider helping other children from his hometown, in lieu of flowers and gifts.
For more, visit Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.