Raised in a musical Mexican American family, Miguel de León remembers connecting deeply to the sounds of music he heard around him while growing up. As a child he responded strongly to the radio hits of Mexican artists in his parent's record collection. His extended family often came together to celebrate holidays and birthdays. As a treat, Mariachis were often part of the festivities - memories of Mariachis playing still holds a very special place in his heart.
Miguel's strong affinity for Brazilian music began when he was a teenager after hearing recordings by Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66. Already bilingual, he discovered through these recordings how similar Portuguese was to Spanish, and learned to pronounce and understand many phrases and themes of the songs. In 1985 Miguel made his first trip to Brasil and was enraptured by the people, the culture, and the music. He stopped in a record shop in Rio and bought so many albums that he had to pay excess baggage fees on his return trip home.
A very active performer in both church music and choral ensembles, Miguel has also appeared in numerous operettas, zarzuelas and musical theater productions. In addition he has developed a solo show featuring many different styles of Latin American music. His songs range from rhythmic salsa and classic boleros to the smooth sounds of Samba and Bossa Nova. While performing Miguel uses his gift for languages; he might sing one verse of "The Girl From Ipanema" or "Corcovado" ("Quiet Nights") in Portuguese and then switch to Spanish or English for the next verse. Songs such as these are easily performed in two languages, since both English and Portuguese versions are widely known. Miguel's CDs "Postcards From Rio" and "Navidad/Natal" feature popular Brazilian and Latin American songs sung in Portuguese, Spanish and English.
Miguel de León's goal is to use his gift of music as a means to bridge the gap between different musical styles and languages. Continually exploring and learning about the world of music. Miguel clearly sees that despite the apparent differences across musical forms, there are many thematic similarities. He believes the underlying theme of music is love and that music is a force that can bring people together. During the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, Miguel went into a studio to craft his latest work: “Malandro”. In this endeavour, Miguel collaborated with Brazilian pop singer, Leila Pinheiro, as well as Brazilian Saxophonist: Leo Gandelman. The album was produced by Jazz great, David Feldman. The world-wide release of Malandro happened recently. Physical CDs and downloads are available now!
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