Home » Jazz Musicians » Raul Midon

Raul Midon

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.

The title of Midón’s Bad Ass & Blind album came from an apt description of its maker that soul icon Bill Withers endorsed; the 2017 release saw Midón collaborating with such top jazz players as trumpeter Nicholas Payton, pianist Gerald Clayton and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. NPR noted that the disc continues Midón’s “streak of records that cross boundaries with ease and head-turning musicality.” Midón’s 2018 follow-up, If You Really Want, found Midón’s voice and guitar riding the waves of the Metropole Orkest, the GRAMMY Award-winning Dutch ensemble that has collaborated with artists from Al Jarreau and Elvis Costello to Laura Mvula and Snarky Puppy. Midón worked hand in glove on If You Really Want with another renowned GRAMMY winner: arranger and conductor Vince Mendoza. Relix magazine said about the album: “Throughout, there’s that voice – passionate and confident – with Midón giving each word his full attention so that you know he means it.”

Read more


In Pictures

Raul Midon at An Die Musik LIVE

Read "Raul Midon at An Die Musik LIVE" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Raul Midon performed a solo set at An Die Musik LIVE in Baltimore on October 11, 2023 that showcased his artistic versality and ability to create a compelling show without a backing band. Midon's songwriting prowess showed throughout the evening as he transitioned from funk influenced songs to a Joni Mitchell inspired piano ballad. effortlessly. A highlight of Midon's set is how many different sounds he is able to create, from playing bongos and guitar at the same time, to ...

Album Review

Chicago Soul Jazz Collective: It Takes a Spark to Start a Fire

Read "It Takes a Spark to Start a Fire" reviewed by John Pietaro

Solace. Listening to classic 1960s soul-jazz as an escape from today's stresses united the musicians who founded the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective. Many of us know of that comfort, the one carried by a cursory view of nostalgia. But don't look too close. Tenor saxophonist John Fournier and trumpet player Marques Carroll built a band on this foundation, exploring the canon. Their sophomore effort is an album of urban tinder and smoke signals, recorded on vintage equipment. The final product ...


Raul Midon: Flamenco’s Fire Into The Cool

Read "Raul Midon: Flamenco’s Fire Into The Cool" reviewed by John Pietaro

Leaning into the tenacious chordal structure of “Bad Ass and Blind," Raul Midon's surging flurries, stinging dyads and whirling solos over nylon strings speak with artful determination. His vocals and guitar in aerial unison can be intoxicating. In his voice one hears terse vibrato, a searching, spiritual tone and the strain of hardship. Celebrated. For the concertgoer recognizing that the artist on stage—who also does uncanny 'trumpet' vocalizations and plays hand drums--is sightless, the experience becomes awe-inspiring. “There's not a ...

Album Review

John DiMartino: Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Read "Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

Pianist/composer/arranger/producer John DiMartino is a first-call veteran of the New York City jazz scene. This multi-recorded artist has long been a favorite of singers for his gigantic ears and intuitive, uncluttered playing—rare gifts which also enhance any instrumentalist he accompanies or arranges. All of these talents inform DiMartino's splendid Billy Strayhorn tribute, Passion Flower, where he is joined by his ever-superb colleagues: Eric Alexander on tenor saxophone, drummer Lewis Nash and bassist Boris Kozlov. The wonderful vocalist Raul Midon sings ...

Album Review

John di Martino: Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Read "Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Composer / arranger Billy Strayhorn was barely twenty-three years old when he first met bandleader Duke Ellington, an encounter that would lead to a collaboration that lasted more than half of Strayhorn's life. During that time, Strayhorn wrote some of the Ellington orchestra's most acclaimed and enduring songs including “Lotus Blossom," “Chelsea Bridge," “Isfahan" and, most notably, the jazz classic “Take the 'A' Train," as well as others for which Ellington claimed partial credit ("Daydream," “Something to Live For") and ...

Album Review

John Di Martino: Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Read "Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When esophageal cancer took Billy Strayhorn's life in 1967, his work and legacy rested squarely in the shadow of Duke Ellington's world. More than half a century later, though the two figures remain inextricably linked, Strayhorn's genius has moved past the penumbra of his legendary collaborator and employer, occupying its own clear place in the jazz firmament. Through biography and documentary film, his own lush life has been illuminated. And of equal importance, Strayhorn's compositions continue to bloom in others' ...

Album Review

Raul Midon: If You Really Want

Read "If You Really Want" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Raul Midon plays guitar and sings like Paul Simon. Born blind in New Mexico in 1966, The New York Times once called him “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus." He was going somewhere once upon a time. Now he's back, still going somewhere. One of his songs is called “Everyone Deserves A Second Chance." Midon probably does. He sings well, he plays well and he writes good ...

Read more articles


Dianne Reeves Quartet with special guest Raul Midón on Saturday, December 8th at 8PM

Dianne Reeves Quartet with special guest Raul Midón on Saturday, December 8th at 8PM

Source: Truly Render

Saturday, December 8, 2012, 8:00 pm Hill Auditorium (825 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor) Dianne Reeves Quartet Peter Martin, Piano Romero Lubambo, Guitar Reginald Veal, Bass Terreon Gully, Drums TICKETS START at $10: 734.764.2538 Born in Detroit to a musical family, Dianne Reeves is now considered one of the pre-eminent jazz vocalists in the world today with unique jazz and R&B stylings and four Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal ...


Performance / Tour

Singer/songwriter Raul Midon Performs This Sunday 1/16 at SOPAC

Singer/songwriter Raul Midon Performs This Sunday 1/16 at SOPAC

Source: AMT Public Relations

An Evening with Raul Midon @ South Orange Performing Arts Center One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079 Sun, Jan 16 at 7pm; Tickets: $35, $25. To purchase, visit SOPACnow.org or call 973.313.ARTS About Raul Midon: One man, one guitar—but not like you've ever heard before. Raul Midon uses his mouth like a trumpet and his guitar like a drum for an explosive blend of bass, harmony, rhythm and melody. His rich, supple tenor, not to ...


Performance / Tour

Lizz Wright and Raul Midon Double Billed at JVC

Lizz Wright and Raul Midon Double Billed at JVC

Source: Michael Ricci

Faith From the South, and a One-Man Band The New York Society for Ethical Culture

If I had to choose a single word to describe the mystique of the singer Lizz Wright, it would be steadfast.

Ms. Wright, who headlined a double bill with the equally talented singer-songwriter Raul Midon at the concert hall of the New York Society for Ethical Culture on Thursday evening, is a minister's daughter from a small town in rural Georgia. Her recent ...



Out Now: Raul Midon's "A World Within a World" on Manhattan Records

Out Now: Raul Midon's "A World Within a World" on Manhattan Records

Source: All About Jazz

On September 25th, Singer-Songwriter Raul Midon released A World Within a World on Manhattan Records. Greatly influenced by a multitude of genres - pop, rock, soul, latin, jazz and more - the third album from this incredibly talented songwriter is not to be missed! Raul Midon, a New Mexico-born, New York-based writer/vocalist/guitarist burst onto the scene in 2005 with his audaciously original debut album, State of Mind, and he's followed it up with an even more memorable song cycle, one ...



Raul Midon Digs Deeper and Finds 'A World Within a World'

Raul Midon Digs Deeper and Finds 'A World Within a World'

Source: All About Jazz

Raul Midon is known for creating his own unique musical world where soul, pop and latin music converge, and his “percussive guitar syncopations and supple, high-flying tenor" (NY Times) run free. On September 25, he'll reveal A World Within A World with his second album for Manhattan/EMI.

A World Within A World features ten new songs, all written or co-written by Midon. Midon announces his new intentions within the first few bars of the album opener “Pick Somebody Up," adding ...





band / ensemble / orchestra

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.