FELIX SAMUEL is a Cuban-born vocalist with a superbly potent and mature voice. His technique and style bear the stamp of his idol Jose Feliciano, while Felix's special vocal color bears the unmistakable echo of his father Felix “Sami” Perez Castro, an important figure of the Cuban music scene in the seventies and eighties.
Felix Samuel: Performance History
Cabaret Parisien, Cuba and abroad
Felix’s career as a singer started at age 19, when the Cabaret Parisien hired him to perform at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana, Cuba. Subsequently, Felix toured nationally and internationally as the principal of several Cabaret productions. He sang in “Salseando”, directed by Rafael Hernandez, at the Centro de Convenciones de Acapulco (Mexico, 1997); “Asi Somos”, directed by Teresa Espinosa (Argentina and Paraguay, 1998); and “Salsa Cubana”, directed by Rafael Hernandez, at the Casino Figuiera Da Foz (Portugal, 2000).
Following the success of his Portuguese engagement, as well as his 1999 European debut at the Roma Capanele Salsa Festival in Rome, Felix stayed in Portugal, initially at the Casino. In 2004, he moved to Lisbon, where he began producing music. He founded “Felix y su Ache”, a light Latin jazz quartet, and worked with “Cubanissimo”, appearing with both bands for three years at many prestigious locations and events in Portugal. Performances included Casino Figueira da Foz, Casino Estoril, the City Festivals (Paço De Arcos, 2004 & 2005; Alentejo-Redondo 2005), Festival do Teatro de Almada; Centro de Congressos do Estoril (ExpoEventos); Casa de America Latina (Lisbon); the Remote Controlled Cars Championship (Cascais); OndaJazz (Lisbon); and the Speakeasy (Lisbon). In addition, Felix both organized (with the Cuban Embassy) and sang at the 2006 Cuban Culture Week in Parque Palmela, Cascais.
In 2007 Felix was invited to perform in Mozambique for a season. There he met Maria Jose Sacur, a renowned Mozambican dancer, and together they created a show with both live music and dance. Felix then opened his own dance and music school in Mozambique, and formed a ten-piece band combining Latin music with Mozambican percussion and African dance with Cuban dance. Their first two shows, “Evolution” (Evoluçao) and “Metamorphosis” (Metamorfoses) were presented in the Franco-Mozambican Centre and the University Cultural Centre, and their immediate success made Felix’s work popular in the capital. As a result, he appeared on the jury of the live TV variety show Kukina (STV) and on TV Music Box (STV).
In June 2008, Felix appeared in the Republic of Macedonia, at La Bodeguita del Medio in Skopje. Media response to his three-week run was immediate, with exclusive interviews for TV channels (networks) A1 and Sitel, and a story on his career in the newspaper “Utrinski Vesnik”.
In July 2008, Felix moved to California, and two days later performed with Tito Y Su Son de Cuba. The local Latin music scene welcomed the arrival of this skilled singer; Felix sang with Jesus Diaz Y Su QBA at the 2008 San Jose Jazz Festival, and then began to work with established Latin bands such as Moderna Tradicion, Pellejo Seco and Vision Latina. In 2009 he sang live with Pellejo Seco on the TV show “Al Despertar” (Univision) and solo on KPFA Radio, later joining Vision Latina on their debut CD, “Sonando como un Cañón” (2010). In Northern California, Felix has performed at the Yerba Buena Festival, the de Young Museum Musical Series, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, La Pena Cultural Center, Ashkenaz, Brava! Theater for the Arts, the Stockton Latin Music Festival, River Rock Casino, and many more venues. In 2010, Felix recorded his own debut CD in Cuba, produced by the renowned German Velasco, and featuring Manolito Simonet and a duet with Felix’s father, Sami. The CD, “Felix Samuel en la Habana”, will be released in late in 2012. In January 2011 Felix was a featured pick of the week of the San Francisco Chronicle as a solo artist. In April the same year Felix recorded the vocals and appeared in the dance scene of the HBO movie “Hemingway and Gellhorn”.