By Britt Bickel

We had the pleasure of welcoming the incomparable Al Jarreau to The WAVE studios this week before he takes the stage at his anticipated show with the George Duke Trio at The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach’s Summer Concert Series on Friday.

Pat Prescott sat down with the seven-time Grammy winning jazz singer to discuss his life-long friendship with George Duke, his start playing in clubs around Los Angeles, his new album and his incredible career longevity.

Al and George take the stage this Friday, Aug. 10 at the Hyatt, which is a show you don’t want to miss. For tickets and info, visit Take a listen to our multi-series interview with Al below, and click here to see pictures of him in studio!

Al talks about his forever friendship with George Duke and playing together in the ’60s during a time when rock and roll was at its height.

“There weren’t many people headed in the direction we were in,” Al said about first starting out in jazz. “For us youngsters starting out in that direction and finding enough of an audience to be ‘you know maybe there is something here for me.'”

Al talks about playing the hottest clubs around Los Angeles in the ’70s like the Velvet Turtle and the most important club in Studio City called the Bla Bla Cafe.

“Bla Bla began as a coffee house and decided to have a ‘hoot night’ – a hoot means open mic. You bring your guitar and your little songs…and you entertain each other,” explained Al.

Al also discussed his time playing at the esteemed Troubadour club, where  he was heard and first signed to a label.

Al talks about coming full circle in his career and teaming up with George Duke once more on Live At The Half Note 1965 as well as playing on stage together this Friday at The Hyatt.

“We’re going to give you a taste of the Half Note from 1965. We’re going to do some of those songs that we did from that same period of time,” said Al.

Al discusses his new album and working with the Metropole Orkest for a live album.

“This is not your grandfather’s orchestra. This is a bassy band with strings that swings,” laughs Al.

Al has had such a successful and long career that to this day surprises him. One of the endearing things about Al is that he never took his success for granted and is truly grateful for all that he’s been able to do, something that still gets him choked up.

“Just the dream is wonderful and surprising that this little colored boy from Milwaukee is playing all over the world and doing it like my dad and brothers taught me to do it. And finding an audience it surprises and wonders me every day. I’m not used to it yet,” Al said.


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