Raul Midón has been busy blowing minds ever since the release of his 2005 debut album State of Mind, a soul-infused session showcasing his gorgeous tenor vocals and percussive guitar style. After giving up his lucrative career as a background singer for Latin pop stars like Shakira, Alejandro Sanz and Jose Feliciano, he dedicated himself to honing a highly personal repertoire that draws on jazz, soul, flamenco, Latin and West African influences. His latest album is 2010’s aptly titled Synthesis (Decca), an all-acoustic session featuring original songs that seduce with brisk syncopation and insinuating melodies. Midón has been soaking up invaluable experience, performing with bass giant Marcus Miller, recording with Herbie Hancock and honing Douala Malambo, a collaboration with another great singer, Richard Bona. Born prematurely to an Argentinean father and African-American mother, Midón and his twin brother lost their eyesight as babies due to an incubator mishap. But Raul has more than just overcome his disability — at his last SFJAZZ appearance the audience was utterly dazed by one of the most phenomenal musicians on the planet. Midón is an experience, not to be missed.
Raul Midón vocals, guitar