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Raúl Midón at TED2007 in 2007
March 14, 1966 |
Embudo, New Mexico
|Origin||New Mexico, United States|
|Genres||Soul, flamenco, Latin, jazz|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, mouth trumpet|
Midón was born prematurely in a rural hospital in Embudo, New Mexico, to parents of Argentine and African American descent. His father was a folkloric dancer from Argentina. Midón and his twin brother Marco (now a NASA engineer) were blinded 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 learned how to play the guitar while performing in rigorous educational programs, first at a school for the blind and then at a Santa Fe academy while completing his last two years of high school. Midón then attended the University of Miami, which he selected for its jazz curriculum. He graduated from the University of Miami in 1990. In 2008 he purchased a home in Maryland and currently resides there.
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 worked with producer and 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.
Midón was signed by Arif Mardin to Manhattan Records. In Mardin's long career, Midón was his first signing of an artist. Mardin, along with his son, Joe, produced the critically acclaimed of Midón's debut album, 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 Warrio starring Nick Nolte.
Midón's album State of Mind was released on May 10, 2005. The album features a guest performance from 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) using Morse code. The title track was released on 12 September 2006 as the free single of the week on the UK version of the iTunes Store.
Midón's national television debut was on Late Show with David Letterman on June 28, 2005. He later went on to appear on other late night television shows in the U.S. and abroad. Herbie Hancock also featured Raúl Midon on his compilation album "Possibilities", which was released in 2006, performing 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 Raúl to successfully produce tracks from his home without the aid of a sighted engineer. His song "Everyone Deserves A Second Chance" appearing on Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca's album Akokan 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. In March 2009, Midón began working with Grammy Award winning producer, Larry Klein on his latest album "Synthesis" for the Universal Decca Label, which was released April 13, 2010. 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 Paulinho Da Costa along with Klein on bass.
In 2012 Raúl recorded two nights at Joe's Pub of The Public Theater of his live performance which was edited down to the album and DVD entitled "Live From NYC Invisible Chains." The album was sold and licensed independently around the globe in Europe and Japan and sold live at shows.
Midón has spent two years writing, recording and producing his album "Don't Hesitate" in his home based studio on Sonar/Cakewalk/Dancing Dots, released in September 2014. This album was picked up by Mack Avenue / Artistry Records. The album is a 14 song collection and features guest appearances with Lizz Wright, Grammy Award Winner Dianne Reeves, worldwide bass legends, Marcus Miller and Richard Bona. Also, he completed the tune "Mi Amigo Cubano" co-written with Bill Withers that was germinated in the film Still Bill, which was premiered in August 2014 online with USA Today.
- Gracias a la vida (1999), BMG MUSIC
- Blind To Reality (2001), self-released album
- Raúl Midon Live EP (2003), self-released album
- State of Mind (2005), Manhattan Records
- A World Within a World (2007), Manhattan Records EMI
- Synthesis (2010), Universal Decca
- Invisible chains, Live from NYC (2012), self-released album
- Don't Hesitate (2014), Artistry Music
- Bad Ass and Blind (2017), Artistry Music
- "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 Jazz Festival (2008)
- "JAZZ SOUL GETS SLAP HAPPY. Raul Midon's attention-grabbing style trumpets the arrival of a major new talent". New York Daily News, May 29, 2005.
- KB5ZOT in morse code (with sound)
- Buis, Paul (29 March 2015). "Raúl Midón in Leiden 27-03-2015". YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,379295,00.html (Discography on the Artist Direct website)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Raúl Midón.|
- Raul Midon: The Reason I Stand - interview
- Interview on BBC Radio 4, 2 January 2007
- Interview about accessible equipment in audio production, "Deep Dish Radio" in 2016
- TED Talks: Raúl Midon plays "All the Answers" and "Tembererana" at TED in 2007
- TED Talks: Raúl Midon plays "Everybody" and "Peace on Earth" at TED in 2007
- Still Bill Midón appears in 2009 Bill Withers bio documentary at the Internet Movie Database