While attending a music recital with his parents at the age of four, Marel’s mother and father noticed that rather than paying attention to the piano performance, Marel was staring intensely at the ceiling instead. His father quietly asked him to be respectful of the musician on the stage by paying attention. Marel replied in his own quiet voice, "It’s because I can see the notes going up to the ceiling while she plays."
Later that same year, Marel asked to play a concert for his pre-K classmates in Bradley Beach, New Jersey. He brought all his instruments to his school and the teachers let him set up a small stage outside the classroom, next to the playground. Before dismissal he performed a medley of tunes from Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, J.S. Bach, The Credence, Bob Marley and Deep Purple. Moments after the music started, the improvised stage was surrounded by dozens of older children and teachers that were at recess at that time. A lot has happened to Marel and his music career since that Pre-K, playground performance, but he has kept one thing intact; the passion for sharing with others the music that he loves.
Almost two years ago, at the age of six, Marel formed his first band "Marel Hidalgo & Friends." Many stages, numerous venues and festivals and multiple collaborations with talented musicians later, this all still seems to be just the beginning of a long and pleasant journey.
"Can you remember what you were doing at six years old?... Did it involve performing in front of hundreds of people? Odds are that the answer is no."
THE COAST STAR
(excerpts from "Bradley Beach’s Marel Hidalgo--Musical prodigy wows audiences with talent, generosity - and age")