Raul Midón brings his vision of music to The Smith Center Nov. 9

By Debbie Hall

Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Raul Midón performs beyond any labels, styles, or genres. Las Vegas audiences will get to enjoy this unique performer at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 9.

His 10th album, If You Really Want with the Metropole Orkest (a renowned jazz orchestra in Europe) was released in September. The record is a wave of transitioning tempo with a flash of funky staccato preceding an expressive ballad. A jazzy electric guitar solo leads into a soft acoustic strum. Midón’s unique power to facilitate consistency using many different sounds is demonstrated on the album, which he also produced and engineered.

The album’s title track was written before Midón moved to New York to further his music career. The lyrics channel his time of perseverance and persistence. “I really had this song in my back pocket, and I’m glad I found the ideal place for it as the new album’s title track. It’s about the power of positive thinking to fulfill your dreams, as I was able to do by becoming a professional musician, making records and touring the world. Here I am, recording with a great European orchestra. This, like so many things in my career, has been a dream come true,” he said.

Midón’s guitar playing is syncopated with a flamenco-and jazz-infused bass, harmony, and melodic. He has also perfected his improvisational mouth-horn technique creating a “bebop trumpet” solo with his lips.

While there are many new avenues to discover and listen to his music, Midón presents what he calls “a tried-and-true and old-fashioned since I am just going on stage and playing. There is no big light effects or over-the-top multimedia devices.” He delivers an intimate concert experience for a sophisticated crowd. “I strive to get better. What I have to offer is different, unique and special. I am not just a guy playing guitar and singing songs. I write my own music and play percussion and guitar at the same time. I want to offer a different perspective with my performance.”

His life can help other people with challenges. As a blind performer, traveling and performing worldwide is an example that anybody can overcome and shine. Midón endeavors to bring together diverse genres of music with the idea to communicate the beauty of difference and mixing things up. His father is from Argentina, and his mother was African American, and he is jazz, soul, pop, R&B, and Latin combined.

Growing up in New Mexico in the 1970s, his musically inclined parents influenced him including the family playing bongo drums and listening to the extensive record collection. He would listen to all genres of music and artists like John Cage appreciating the sounds as well as the melodies and lyrics. While some might “box” him with labels, all people can access his music appealing to a variety of tastes. As his first time as a headliner at The Smith Center, he looks forward to performing to a diverse audience.

Raul Midón will be performing at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 9. For information and tickets, visit here.





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