Next Friday, the indomitable Ricardo Arjona kicks off a 19-show US tour here in Miami, named 5o Piso for his most recent album, which dropped late last year. The Guatemalan-born singer-songwriter endured a failed attempt at recording as a young man and abandoned his dreams of the stage to become a teacher and play basketball professionally in his native country. But he never really lost sight of the music, and often made his way to the late night barfly set to perform, particularly while living in Buenos Aires. He's said that it was from those very experiences that he drew inspiration for his '93 album Animal Nocturno.
But Arjona is many years and many albums removed from even that album (his fourth), and in the years between he's enjoyed a successful career, winning fans and nabbing a pair of Grammys for his 2005 release Adentro along the way. His style of Latin pop is unique, placing heavy emphasis on his powerful lyrical imagery and poignant commentary on matters ranging from social issues to the most intimate emotions. And it's his incisive appreciation for the human condition in all its varied states that separates him from other composers, and sets him apart as a modern poet.
Ricardo Arjona performs at the American Airlines Arena on Friday, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets range $56 - $126.