Singer-songwriter Raul Midón, born in New Mexico of an Argentinian father and a New York mother, has wowed audiences from the West Coast to Europe and Japan.
Now, he's bringing his songs and stories to Rockport's Shalin Liu Performance Center on Saturday evening.
The soulful tenor has been described as "a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus," according to Stephen Holden of the New York Times.
Midón, a twin and blind since birth, has made great achievements despite challenges. His mother died young. He grew up speaking Spanish, and as a young child was strongly drawn to music.
The vocalist and guitarist has received praise from critics on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
John Walters of the The Guardian wrote about a performance in London, England: "When you witness someone who is really good, like singer-songwriter Raul Midón, it's a profoundly moving experience.
"But more than that," Walters wrote, "it redefines the whole notion of what 'good' means. Midón just walks on with his guitar and sings his deceptively simple songs, and the entire club is enthralled."
His March shows in Nice, France, and Stuttgardt, Germany, sold out.
Midón also loves to engage the crowd with his improvised bebop "trumpet" solos performed entirely with his mouth. In earlier years, he was a sought-after Latin-pop backup singer who worked with artists such as Julio and Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin. His solo career garnered rave reviews for his Carnegie Hall performance as well as appearances on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show."
On Saturday, Midón will perform a collection of his works as well as try out some new material.
When asked about musical influences, he replied that although his work has soul and jazz influences, there are also Latin elements as well has his constant desire to "push the envelope."
Just a few months ago, he started to work on playing the bongos and the guitar at the same time without any electronic help and no loops. He will do that when he performs "Sunshine I Can Fly." When he plays "Invisible Chains," he does a reggae accompaniment in which he plays the bass line and chords simultaneously while singing the song.
"I'm a singer songwriter who is very much a musician," he said in a phone interview.
"Many songwriters are lyricists and accompany themselves to get the song out," he said, "but the combination of things I bring to the table is different. I spend a lot of time working on improvisation. I also bring people's attention to what I am doing and much of what I do is intricate. So if I don't tell them, they may not know."
Midón's desire to communicate goes beyond his music. He is also a ham radio operator in his free time.
The musician used to be based in New York City, but now lives in Maryland, in part because of his desire to find a property where he could put up a tower, and still have easy access to travel the country and to Europe for his touring schedule.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Singer-Songwriter Raul Midón, a European favorite, in concert
When: Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m.
Where: Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport
How much: Tickets start at $19. For information, visit rcmf.org or call 978-546-7391.