If you could imagine what a dynamic musician sounds like singing in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, combined with live guitar and percussion that spans genres like Latin Funk, Reggae en Español, Samba, and Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian, you’d have Israel Maldonado. One of the most versatile artists in the San Diego music circuit, Israel has caught the attention of NPR, Kremona Guitars, and ‘Lightning in a Bottle’, one of the most revered boutique festivals in the US.
NPR’s legendary Tiny Desk Concert, which received 6,000 submissions in 2017, featured Israel third in an article highlighting top entrants.
After touring the US with Agua Dulce for two years, Israel released his first EP, which emphasized his command of Brazilian percussion and rhythms. The follow up album and singles continued to show his vast range in musical genres that bring forth his own unique style, and has since earned him a loyal following of listeners on Spotify. Most notably, his song, Martes, opens with Israel flawlessly playing a classical riff, and then seamlessly transitions into Reggae en Español that is so impressive you instantly understand his unique sound.
Opening for headliners such as La Santa Cecilia, Los Amigos Invisibles, Ivan Lins, and having played onstage with Sergio Mendez, Israel’s performances have been a combination of soloist, member of Sambrasil, and heading his own bands, Puente and Tres con Todo.
From child prodigy in a children’s orchestra in Tijuana, to high school marching band after immigrating to the US, to a decades long professional career that has put him on famed stages like the Copley Symphony Hall, and The Hollywood Bowl, Israel Maldonado continues to display an abundance of talent that keeps us wondering what he’ll do next.