Raul Midón
Overview
Raúl Midón is a singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 and guitarist
Guitarist
A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

 from New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, based in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. He combines his distinct voice, 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
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, R&B, and folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

. Midón is blind from infancy.
Midón was born prematurely in a rural hospital in Embudo, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, to parents of Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 descent.
Encyclopedia
Raúl Midón is a singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 and guitarist
Guitarist
A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

 from New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, based in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. He combines his distinct voice, 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
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, R&B, and folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

. Midón is blind from infancy.

Early life

Midón was born prematurely in a rural hospital in Embudo, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, to parents of Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 descent. His father was a folkloric dancer from Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

. Midón and his twin brother Marco (now a NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 engineer) were blinded
Blindness
Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors.Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define blindness...

 as infants after spending time in an incubator without adequate eye protection. The sounds of music became integral to Midón's life around age 4, when his father introduced him to the drum. Midón became an avid music lover and learned how to play the guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

 while performing in rigorous educational programs, first at a school for the blind and then at an elite Santa Fe academy while completing his last two years of high school. Midón then attended the University of Miami
University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private, non-sectarian university founded in 1925 with its main campus in Coral Gables, Florida, a medical campus in Miami city proper at Civic Center, and an oceanographic research facility on Virginia Key., the university currently enrolls 15,629 students in 12...

, which he selected for its prestigious jazz curriculum. He graduated from the University of Miami in 1990. In 2008 he purchased a home in Maryland and currently resides there.

Career

Midón began his career as a session singer for numerous Latin recording artists including Shakira
Shakira
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll , known professionally as Shakira , is a Colombian singer who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s...

, Alejandro Sanz, Julio Iglesias
Julio Iglesias
Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva , better known simply as Julio Iglesias, is a Spanish singer who has sold over 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 77 albums. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is one of the top 15 best selling music artists in history,...

 and Jose Feliciano
José Feliciano
José Feliciano is a Puerto Rican singer, virtuoso guitarist and composer known for many international hits including the 1970 holiday single "Feliz Navidad".-Childhood:...

. After touring with Shakira, he set aside this career to pursue a solo career and moved to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. 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
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

-winning producer Arif Mardin
Arif Mardin
Arif Mardin was a Turkish-American music producer, who worked with hundreds of artists across many different styles of music, including jazz, rock, soul, disco, and country...

 (Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Norah Jones is an American singer-songwriter and occasional actress.In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away With Me, which was certified a diamond album in 2002, selling over 20 million copies...

, Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, and rock. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All...

) to Manhattan Records
Manhattan Records
Manhattan Records is a United States record label, owned by EMI and operates as a subsidiary of The Blue Note Label Group.-Company history:Manhattan Records was formed in 1984 by Bruce Lundvall, and was later renamed EMI Manhattan Records after absorbing EMI America Records imprint...

, a subsidiary of Capitol Records
Capitol Records
Capitol Records is a major United States based record label, formerly located in Los Angeles, but operating in New York City as part of Capitol Music Group. Its former headquarters building, the Capitol Tower, is a major landmark near the corner of Hollywood and Vine...

 owned by EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

. In Mardin's long career, Midón was his first signing of an artist. Mardin, along with his son, Joe
Joe Mardin
Joe Mardin is a music producer, arranger and engineer from New York City. He is a Berklee College of Music graduate and is the son of producer Arif Mardin...

, produced the critically acclaimed debut album of Midón entitled State of Mind.

Midón also did the song for the end credits Spike Lee's
Spike Lee
Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983....

 2004 LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 film, She Hate Me
She Hate Me
She Hate Me is a 2004 independent comedy-drama film directed by Spike Lee and starring Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Ellen Barkin, Monica Bellucci, Brian Dennehy, Woody Harrelson, Bai Ling and John Turturro....

, 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 album State of Mind was released on May 10, 2005. The album features a guest performance with Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris , better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist...

, one of his idols, another one with Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz
Jason Thomas Mraz , also known as Mr. AZ and Mr. Raz, is an American singer-songwriter. Mraz released his debut album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the hit single "The Remedy ", in 2002, but it was not until the release of his second album, "Mr. A-Z", in 2005, that Mraz achieved...

, and a song written in tribute to Donny Hathaway
Donny Hathaway
Donny Edward Hathaway was an American soul singer-songwriter and musician. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, "The Ghetto, Part I" in early 1970, Rolling Stone magazine "marked him as a major new force in soul music."His collaborations...

 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
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

. The title track was released on 12 September 2006 as the free single of the week on the UK version of the iTunes Store
ITunes Store
The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple. Opening as the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003, with over 200,000 items to purchase, it is, as of April 2008, the number-one music vendor in the United States...

.

Midón's national television debut was on Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman is a U.S. late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS. The show debuted on August 30, 1993, and is produced by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated. The show's music director and band-leader of the house band, the CBS Orchestra, is...

on June 28, 2005. He later went on to appear on other late night television shows in the U.S. and abroad. Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock is an American pianist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis's "second great quintet," Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound...

 also featured Raul Midon on his compilation album "Possibilities
Possibilities
Possibilities is the forty-fifth studio album by American jazz musician Herbie Hancock, released in the United States on August 30, 2005 by Vector Recordings. The album features a variety of guest musicians such as John Mayer and Carlos Santana...

", which was released in 2006, performing his rendition of Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You". On July 24, 2007, a single named "Pick Somebody Up" was released on the iTunes Store in the new iTunes Plus format. Midón released the album "A World Within A World" on September 25, 2007.

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."

He was featured in the 2009 film Still Bill
Still Bill (film)
Still Bill is a 2009 documentary film about musician Bill Withers. It received its world premiere at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival...

. 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. It is currently slated to be released in Europe in the fall of 2009 and in the spring of 2010 in the U.S.

Albums

  • "gracias a la vida" 1999, BMG MUSIC
  • "Blind To Reality" 2001 self-released album
  • "Raul Midon Live EP" 2003 self released album
  • State of Mind
    State of Mind (Raul Midón album)
    State of Mind is Raul Midón's second album, released June 7, 2005 through Manhattan Records. In the album, he occasionally uses his trademark vocal style, "instrumental voices", which are also performed by him during his live performances.-Track listing:...

    (2005), Manhattan Records
    Manhattan Records
    Manhattan Records is a United States record label, owned by EMI and operates as a subsidiary of The Blue Note Label Group.-Company history:Manhattan Records was formed in 1984 by Bruce Lundvall, and was later renamed EMI Manhattan Records after absorbing EMI America Records imprint...

  • A World Within a World (2007), Manhattan Records EMI
  • Synthesis (2009) Universal Decca

Compilations

  • Suddenly appears on the compilation He Sings The Blues (2005)
  • State of Mind appears on the compilation Blue Note Trip 5: Mashed (Jazzanova) (2006)
  • Pick Somebody Up appears on the official album of 15th International Istanbul
    Istanbul
    Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

     Jazz Festival
    (2008)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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