Singer / Songwriter
Raúl Midón is a blind singer-songwriter and guitarist from New Mexico, who combines a distinct voice with strumming, beats, and vocal mouth trumpet sounds to create a one-man performance.
His unique style shows influence of virtually every musical genre which came before him, including jazz, blues, R&B, and folk.
Midón began his career as a session singer for numerous Latin recording artists including Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Julio Iglesias and Jose Feliciano.
After touring with Shakira, he set aside this career to pursue a solo career and moved to New York City.
In New York City he focused completely on his solo career with the exception of working with producer and renowned DJ Little Louie Vega.
He wrote and recorded several songs including “Cerca De Mi” with Louie and his production team under the band name “Elements of Life.” Elements of Life, led by Louie Vega toured Europe, Japan and Australia in 2003/2004.
During this time Midón was shopped to record labels in a unique manner. His management at the time arranged meetings where Midon would perform live in front of whichever music executive the meeting was with.
This led to Midón being signed by Grammy Award-winning producer Arif Mardin (Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin) to Manhattan Records, a subsidiary of Capitol Records owned by EMI.
In Mardin’s long career, Midón was his first signing of an artist. Mardin, along with his son, Joe, produced the critically acclaimed debut album of Midón entitled “State of Mind.”
Midón also did the song for the end credits Spike Lee’s 2004 LGBT film, “She Hate Me,” titled “Adam n’ Eve n’ Eve”. His song “Everybody” was featured in the soundtrack of the movie, “The Peaceful Warrior” starring Nick Nolte.
Midón’s 2005 album “State of Mind” features a guest performance with Stevie Wonder, one of his idols, another one with Jason Mraz, and a song written in tribute to Donny Hathaway entitled “Sittin’ In The Middle.”
Midón is an avid amateur radio enthusiast, and in this song he also incorporates his call sign (KB5ZOT) by using Morse code. Herbie Hancock also featured Raul Midon on his compilation album “Possibilities”, which was released in 2006, performing his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.
In 2008 he built a home studio with the help of Cakewalk, and a company called Dancing Dots who design technology specifically for use by the blind. This has enabled Raul to successfully produce tracks from his home without the aid of a sighted engineer.
His song “Everyone Deserves A Second Chance” which appears on Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca’s album was recorded at his home. He also recorded two songs for the “Generosity Water” project at his home studio which he calls “The Basement Studio.”
In March 2009, Midón began working with Grammy Award Winning Producer, Larry Klein on his latest album “Synthesis” for the Universal Decca Label. He temporarily relocated to Santa Monica and worked closely with Klein on the overall tenor of the album. The album features Midón together with music industry veterans Vinnie Colaiuta, Dean Parks, Jamie Muhoberac, Larry Goldings, and Paulihno Da Costa with Larry Klein on bass.
* Brilliant live performer who wowed Anthology audiences at his last appearance.
* Has worked with Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz and Herbie Hancock.
* Began his career singing backgrounds for Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Julio Iglesias and Jose Feliciano.
Sound Observations With Raul Midon
By David Moye
The recent Japanese earthquakes had an effect on millions of people – including musician and songwriter extraordinaire Raul Midon.
Midon was set to perform six shows in Japan and went there in the aftermath of the big quake.
“But when I was there, we had a 6.2 quake, and then there was a third explosion and I realized I didn’t want to expose other people to radiation and put them in jeopardy,” Midon said.
So he canceled the shows – and took a big hit financially in order to return home where he felt safe.
“I thought I might have problems getting out of Tokyo, but we didn’t,” he said.
Thank goodness for San Diego music fans, because Midon will be performing at Anthology on April 8, but he isn’t giving up on Japan.
“It’s a very good market for me,” he said. “I will be back.”
For people not familiar with Midon, a little summary may be in order: Midon, 45, is a guitarist and singer-songwriter who astonishes audience for both the high quality of his songs, which range from bossa nova to rock to jazz and his ability to sing, play guitar and bongos at the same and to mimic the trumpet with his mouth.
Starting out, worked with artists like Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Julio Iglesias and Jose Feliciano, but he has been an acclaimed artist since the release of his 2005 debut album, “State of Mind,” which featured guest performances by Jason Mraz and Stevie Wonder.
The Anthology shows represent a culmination of sorts. It will be the end of year-long tour promoting his third album “Synthesis.” Midon made his Anthology release to celebrate the debut and Friday’s performance will allow fans who were wowed by those shows before (including me!) to see how they’ve progressed.
It will also represent the beginning of a break for him.
“I do write on the road,” he said. “Not because I want to, but because I have to. After this gig, I will be home and hope to use that time to work on new songs.”
Midon is a master of the traditional song form, and admits that there’s always the risk of making something that sounds too similar to something old, he says the craft of composing is always new. “Every time you create, there’s new ground somewhere,” he said.