Alex Cuba is a Latin Grammy/Juno winner, singer-songwriter who is not tied to tradition; Alex has a vast musical vision. His sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and powerful guitar riffs, relinquish a conventional stereotype that exemplifies much of the Latin music landscape. Collaborating with artists such as: Nelly Furtado, Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes and Ron Sexsmith, just to name a few.
Born Alexis Puentes in Artemisa, Cuba, was immersed in music at a very young age. Being in the family business since the early age of 4. This is when he joined his father (respected guitarist and teacher Valentin Puentes), and a group of 24 guitarists in a performance aired on Cuban national TV. Alex then went on to study guitar and bass and touring nationally and internationally.
In 1999, Alex moved to Vancouver, B.C where he recorded an album titled “Morumba Cubana” alongside his twin brother Adonis, as The Puentes Brothers. Alex then went on to record his solo debut album “Humo De Tobaco” in which earned him a Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2006. In 2007, Alex released “Agua Del Pozo” which also earned him another Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2008. From there, Alex released his third album, a self-titled project “Alex Cuba” in 2009.
The album features his first ever English track titled “If You Give Me Love”. The album gained recognition on an international level. In 2010, Alex took home the award for Best New Artist at the 2010 Latin Grammy Awards, where it was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Album. It also followed a nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards and in 2011 Alex took home a BMI Latin Award for his songwriting on Nelly Furtado’s #1 Spanish hit “Manos Al Aire”.
In 2012, Alex released his fourth album “Ruido En El Sistema”, which Alex received his second Socan Hagood Hardy Award for outstanding achievement in Jazz and World Music. He also won his second Latin Grammy Award – this time as a songwriter. Alex alongside his co-writer Yoel Henriquez received the award for Best Tropical Song for the single “Toma Mi Vida” from Milly Quezada’s album Aqui Estoy Yo. In 2013, he again brought home a Latin Grammy for the video Eres Tu from Ruido En El Sistema, a video produced entirely in his hometown of Smithers.
Songwriting was the focus for the latest album "Healer" that was recorded in New York, USA and Victoria, Canada. Using a live rhythm section the songs take on a live appeal and Alex traded in horns for guitars and vocal harmonies that take Alex back to his roots. There are five duets with singer- songwriters, five being Canadian, Ron Sexsmith, David Myles, Alejandra Ribera and Kuba Oms as well as New Yorker Anya Marina. It is an upbeat, acoustic soul album full of optimism and reality as Alex always has a silver lining on melancholy of any form. The album won a Latin Grammy for best Singer-songwriter and nominated for a Grammy as best Latin Pop in 2016.
Still based in Smithers, Alex Cuba has put together a four piece band of Ian Olmstead on Bass, Jake Jenne on Drums and Jose Sanchez on percussion. Ian and Jake, both from Smithers have known Alex since their high school years and Cuban expat Jose has toured previously supporting the album Agua del Pozo. Coming together for this latest project highlight the songs with lots of melody, groove and vocal harmonies.
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.”
Midón’s earlier studio discography includes Don’t Hesitate .(2014), Synthesis (2010), A World Within a World (2007) and State of Mind (2005) He also released the CD/DVD Invisible Chains – Live from NYC, which documents an intimate concert in Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater from 2012. Midón’s live 2016 rendition of John Coltrane’s classic “Giant Steps” – which sees him fly through all 12 keys on the guitar – earned more than a million views via Facebook. Ever since being told by some when he was a child that his blindness meant that “you can’t do this, you can’t do that,” Midón has lived a life devoted to beating the odds and shattering stereotypes. “As someone who has never seen, I’ve always felt at a disadvantage in that lyric writing is usually very visual,” he says. “People really relate to images and I’ve never seen images. But what I realized early on is that you have to write from what you know, and I hear, touch and feel intensely – and those are sensations and experiences that everyone can relate to.”