Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born Singer-Storyteller Migguel Anggelo Awakens the Senses, Wows Sold-Out Crowd at Joe's Pub in NYC with "Between Dreams/ Entre Sueños" Concert
How do you find the extraordinary in the ordinary? What makes a performer truly come alive on stage?
After recently watching Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born singer, dancer, artist and storyteller Migguel Anggelo perform "Between Dreams / Entre Sueños" to a sold-out crowd at Joe's Pub at The Public in New York, I was reminded of how life can imitate art, and art can imitate life.
Anggelo looks at the world as an ever-evolving canvas, a place to savor his senses, absorb the beautiful and bizarre aspects of human nature and celebrate his Latin heritage, culture and art.
Through his singing, storytelling and whimsical imagination, Anggelo conjures Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, French painter Henri Matisse and beloved English actress Julie Andrews. His themes touch on history, architecture, immigration, homelessness, and dictatorship combined with a medley of American pop, jazz standards but with his own spin. Anggelo lives and breathes for his craft, and this passion reflects back at his audience as he takes them on a magical journey.
"I enjoy everything that I do. ... When I am singing on the stage, I combine together the acting, the dance, the voice, and I feel like I am in a big canvas, and my hands, they are the brush, and I paint everyone in the audience, like the colors, the oil to be part of my canvas," Anggelo told Latin Post.
Anggelo is a force to be reckoned with. His energy is so contagious that you can't help but become engrossed by his intensity, piercing eyes and poetry, and then two seconds later, he has you in stitches with his animated facial expressions and quirky sense of humor.
Often compared to Latin crooner Marc Anthony for his vocal chops and his looks -- not to mention his killer salsa moves -- Anggelo makes it clear that while he's impressed and humbled by such a compliment, he's his own person. He's anything but an imitation, and he's not changing for anybody.
"I think everyone has his or her own personality. I don't want to change what I believe and what I love to do -- because this is what I love to do," he said. "I am very touched they say that I look like Marc Anthony -- he is an amazing singer. But Marc Anthony is Marc Anthony, and I am Migguel Anggelo. It's an honor to compare me to Marc Anthony, hello!" He laughed.
While this authenticity is music to the audiences' ears, it wasn't to producers in Miami, where he was asked to become more mainstream and commercial. Instead, Anggelo is sticking to his unique craft, and he's in the best city on earth to do just that. After moving from Venezuela to Miami and now New York, Anggelo is relishing being in the mecca of bold creativity. He's got a colossal amount of material to choose from in New York that will make for an interesting takeaway in his future performances.
"It's been amazing ... because I have lived in many countries before, like Germany and Argentina. It's the first time that I feel at home. New York is unbelievable. I really feel that New York is a great place for artists and for people who are creative. I am so happy, that was the best choice for me to come here," he said.
Living abroad has given Anggelo a well-rounded perspective of the world. In his song, "Inmigrantes" he points out, "All of us are all immigrants. The moment that you came out of your mother's womb, you are an immigrant. ... We are like birds looking for a nest."
Born in the countryside of Valencia, Venezuela -- more specifically a small town called Montelban -- Anggelo was raised to appreciate his surroundings, the trees, the birds and the beauty of the land.
Who does Anggelo attribute his impeccable storytelling ability and limitless imagination? His mother, a former ballerina who would whisper to her little boy, who she calls "Mickey," and say, "Listen to the winds, listen to the clouds. ... Come to the forest and hug the trees, they are talking to you."
As a child, Anggelo was given the famous book, "The Never Ending Story" ("La Historia Sin Fin") as a gift, and that further propelled his creative imagination.
"That changed me. I thought this is what I want to do: I want to write music with a message with poetry," he said.
His father, a chef and a mechanic, was also an opera aficionado who loved to listen to the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. Being surrounded by music and art and dance, Anggelo eventually went on to study opera in Cologne, Germany.
What other inspirations does Anggelo draw on?
"Life, I think humans. ... I think the sky, the air inspires me every second. ... Even the trash in New York City, for me it's great -- it's like installation." He laughed.
"I want when people come to my shows, to my concerts that they learn something. I can describe my concerts like a book. You come to my concert, you open a book and the pages are going over and over with each song, and when you finish the concert, it's the end of the book," he said. "You leave the venue or the theater and you say, 'Wow, I learned about Matisse, I didn't even know about Frida Kalho, and now I know the story.' I want to tell something, people remember something after the concert."
Anggelo's album, "La Casa Azul" will be released in early 2015. Listen to a preview of the album here. He will also perform at the Bronx Library Center, the Latino and Puerto Rican Cultural Center of the New York Public Library system on Nov. 22 and at Joe's Pub at the Public in New York on Dec. 2. For more information visit his official website.
Check out a Latin Post exclusive interview with Migguel Anggelo as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the amazing Latin talent in the United States and beyond.