Jose Luis Perales is what you might call a living legend. The title seems fitting. Perhaps you don't think you're familiar with his work, but if you have parents from Spain or Latin America then rest assured you most certainly do. And if perhaps you yourself are a died-in-the-wool grownup from said heritage, feel free to skip to the bottom for ticket info--you know exactly who we're talking about.
He's been in the game a long time, having debuted with Mis Canciones in 1973. But he was working in the music biz even a few years prior to that. Though friendly, Perales bore a natural tendancy toward shyness, preferring to remain behind the scenes with his true love, composing. His composition "Porque Te Vas" ("Because You're Leaving") propelled Spanish-Belgian singer Jeanette to international recognition in the early seventies.
But the unintentionally charismatic Perales soon found himself on the performance side of the industry and 36 years later he's still at it, composing for some of the biggest names in Latin music--artists like Julio Iglesias, Isabel Pantoja and Miguel Bosé--and performing before masses of fans. It's not uncommon for them to regale the approachable Perales to recount stories about how they fell in love with their spouse of thirty years to the soundtrack of his romantic ballads or how his music helped them through a hard time (I've witnessed two such occasions myself). Songs like "Y Como Es El?" ("What's He Like?") and, perhaps his most famous composition, "Te Quiero," ("I Love You") are classics treasured by lovers of Latin music the world over.
The Spanish singer-songwriter will provide fans in SoFla an opportunity to see him live this Saturday at the James L. Knight Center.
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Jose Luis Perales performs live at the James L. Knight Center this Saturday, October 10 at 8pm. Tickets run $65 to $105.