"I've got one week left, and then I'm done for a year," McFerrin told a reporter at a ceremony at the Henry Mancini Institute recently. "I haven't had a sabbatical, I haven't taken a year off from touring in 15 years at least."
First known as a solo jazz singer with an uncanny range, McFerrin scored an enormous pop hit in 1988 with "Don't Worry, Be Happy." Shortly afterwards, he began appearing as a conductor, and has since led the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and other groups. He has also served as creative chair of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and is an active music educator.
McFerrin told the AP that while he would work on a new album during his year off, he also had other plans: "I want to take dance lessons. I want to learn Spanish. I want to find new restaurants. I want to hang out with my 13-year-old daughter. I want to hang out with my dog."