Two unique vocalists from two worlds gather for the first time to lead an intense and adventurous musical conversation.
An intimate collaboration of the power of two, collectively they create highly energetic music, full of spirit. Both have in common their rhythmically strong approach and their desire to experiment beyond musical boundaries, tripped-up guitar grooves will meet impulsive mouth percussion and their dialogue through song.
Born in rural Embudo, New Mexico to an African-American mother and an Argentinean father, Raul Midón grew up surrounded by music, thanks in part to his father’s diverse record collection, which ranged from classical to bebop to modern avant-garde composers. After taking an early interest in drumming, Raul gravitated towards guitar during early childhood. After attending the University of Miami, he became a part of that city’s music scene, gaining attention for his own live gigs while becoming an in-demand backup singer for such Latin-pop artists as Julio and Enrique Iglesias, Shakira and Alejandro Sanz.
In May 2002, he walked away from his lucrative life as a sideman and moved to New York City in order to focus on his solo career. There he met and began writing and recording with renowned DJ Little Louie Vega, with whom he toured Europe, Japan and Australia.
Midón’s growing reputation as a live performer helped him to win the attention of legendary producer Arif Mardin, who signed him to his first major-label deal. Midón’s 2005 album State of Mind was greeted warmly by fans and critics alike, as were 2007’s A World Within A World, 2009’s Synthesis, and 2012’s self-released live CD/DVD Invisible Chains: Live from NYC. On his latest release Don’t Hesitate, some notable guest artists stepped up to contribute inclduing world-class vocalists Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright, noted jazz bassists Marcus Miller and Richard Bona, R&B legend Bill Withers and the acclaimed sibling duo of Daniel and David Bailen.
While Midón’s eclectic talents have won the admiration of fans and critics, they’ve also led to him collaborating with such musical heroes as Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder; appearing on recordings by Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg; and contributing to the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s She Hate Me.
Composer and performer, Andreas Schaerer, was born in Switzerland in 1976. Schaerer’s musical career began when he was young, using early tape decks to produce compositions such as, “Duo for Sewing Machine” and “Harmonica”, before gaining his first stage experience as a teenage guitarist for the renowned punk band of the time, Hector Lives.
In 2000, after two extended trips to South and Central America, Schaerer attended the University of Arts in Bern, studying singing with Sandy Patton and Denise Bregnard, improvisation with Andy Scherrer and composition with Klaus König, Christian Henking and Frank Sikora.
After graduating he began performing professionally and founded the Bern Jazz Workshop (Jazzwerkstatt Bern) in 2007 with Marc Stucki and Benedikt Reising. This ongoing collective acts as a communication point and promotes artistic exchange.
As a vocalist Schaerer explores a wide range of techniques including raw sprechgesang (an expressionist style between singing and speaking), sound imitation, beat-boxing and scatting right through to operatic coloratura.
He performs with his own projects: the sextet, Hildegard Learns to Fly (Hildegard Lernt Fliegen) and duos with bassist Bänz Oester, and drummer, Lucas Niggli and also collaborates with the classical saxophone quartet ARTE and is in a trio with the Viennese musicians Martin Eberle and Peter Rom, as well as playing with The Beet.
Schaerer is a sought-after studio musician and composer, working in diverse genres from jazz and freestyle music through to hip-hop and soundtracks. His concerts and tours take him across Europe, Russia, China and South Africa.
In 2008, the sextet Hildegard Learns to Fly won the prestigious Jazz ZKB prize. They were nominated for the 2014 BMW World Jazz Awards and won the Swiss category, giving them a place in the final.
In 2009/10 Schaerer was invited by Bobby McFerrin to contribute to the improvised, wordless opera, “Bobble”. As well as performing with Bobby McFerrin, Schaerer has performed with Soweto Kinch, Colin Vallon, Anton Goudsmith, Barry Guy, Mars
Williams, Kalle Kalima, Oliver Steidle, Christy Doran’s New Bag, The Ploctones, Kaspar Ewald’s Exorbitantes Cabinet and Elina Duni amongst others.
In 2015 Raul Midón and Andreas Schaerer first met for the first time in Paris. After a three hour collaboration it was enough to know that their worlds should collide in a musical collaboration.