Along with his 11 studio albums as a solo artist, Midón – dubbed “an eclectic adventurist” by People magazine – has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, along with contributing to records by Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg and the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s She Hate Me. A native of New Mexico who now lives in Maryland after years in New York, Midón has earned acclaim the world over, with a fanbase that stretches from San Francisco to India, Amsterdam to Tokyo. Marveling over his live performances, The New York Times has called Midón “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.” He recently performed in a special Homecoming Week music series at his alma mater, the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. He was surprised onstage with the school’s most prestigious honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award. Frost’s dean said of the 1990 graduate: “Raul Midón truly personifies what a student at our school can achieve. It’s a thrill to be able to honor Raul’s extraordinary talent and exemplary accomplishments.”
For a glimpse of how magnetic Midón can be live, seek out on YouTube the clip of his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2006. Performing “State of Mind,” the title track from his major-label debut, Midón unveils what would become his signature combination of silky voice and percussive guitar. His playing is a syncopated wonder in which bass, harmony and melodic lines fly from the fretboard in a way that belies the fact that all the music is being produced by just two hands. If that weren’t enough, Midón busts out his improvisational mouth-horn technique, in which he creates a bebop “trumpet” solo with his lips, earning himself a burst of mid-song applause from the audience.