Alwyn “Al” Jarreau is an American singer. A seven-time Grammy Award winner, and is the second artist in history to win in the three separate categories: Jazz, Pop, and R&B. He also won the Grammys within a span of four consecutive decades — the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the fifth of six children. His web site refers to Reservoir, Inc., the name of the street where he lived. His father was a Seventh-Day Adventist Church minister and singer, and his mother was a church pianist. He and his family sang together in church concerts and in benefits, and he and his mother performed at PTA meetings.
He was Student Council President at high school, going on to Ripon College, where he also sang with a group called the Indigos. Al graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Iowa and worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor in San Francisco and moonlighted with a jazz trio headed by George Duke.
In 1967, he joined forces with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez. The duo became the star attraction at a small Sausalito night club called Gatsby’s. This success contributed to Jarreau’s decision to make professional singing his life and full-time career.