Jorge Drexler Biography
In 2004 Drexler won wide acclaim after becoming the first Uruguayan ever to win an Academy Award. He won for composing the song "Al Otro Lado del Río" from The Motorcycle Diaries.
In 1995 he was invited to Madrid by well-known Spanish songwriter Joaquín Sabina, who introduced him to other important Spanish singers. Drexler went to Spain to record the album Vaivén in 1996 with Spanish musicians. Vaivén included some old songs from his previous releases mixed with new compositions. He moved to Spain and recorded another four albums: Llueve (1998), Frontera (1999), Sea (2001) and Eco (2004).
Although he lives most of the year in Spain, his latest three albums were partially recorded in Uruguay with Uruguayan musicians. Juan Campodónico and Carlos Casacuberta, former members of rock band El Peyote Asesino, have produced Drexler's albums since Frontera.
His music is a combination of Uruguayan traditional music (candombe, murga, milonga), bossa nova, pop, jazz and electronic music, which results in very personal compositions with original arrangements. The words also play an important role in his songs. Apart from love, reflections about identity, race and religions are a constant in his work.
Drexler's song "Al otro lado del río" appeared in the internationally acclaimed film "The Motorcycle Diaries" (Spanish title: "Diarios de motocicleta"). Though Drexler himself sang the song on the movie soundtrack, it was performed together by Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana at the Academy Awards ceremony. Upon his winning the Oscar for Best Original Song, Drexler's "speech" consisted mostly of him singing a portion of the song a cappella.
Drexler was born in Montevideo to a Jewish family . His four grandparents were born in Poland, Germany, Brazil and Montevideo. His German parents migrated to Uruguay to escape German persecution. After they faced criticism in Uruguay they moved to Israel for a year. From this Drexler is fluent in Hebrew.
Like much of his family, he studied medicine and became an otolaryngologist ear, nose and throat specialist .
He also studied music and recorded two albums, which were only released in Uruguay.
He was married to singer-songwriter Ana Laan until 2005. His girlfriend is Spanish actress/singer Leonor Watling. She gave birth to their son Luca in January 2009. Watling sings in the band Marlango.