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Miguel was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he lived until high school. Son of Brazilian saxophonist Leo Gandelman, Miguel started playing the saxophone when he was only five years old. He spent many years travelling with his family, as his father toured Brazil. Miguel could be seen at age 1 on the stage with major artists such as Lulu Santos. At age 7, he composed and performed his own composition for the Italian feature film "Pure Juice."
When he was 10, the Brazilian press featured him as a "rising star" and soon after, Gandelman was participating in studio recording sessions that paid homage to some of his father’s work as well as other artists.
Miguel won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, when he was a junior in high school and graduated at sixteen. At Berklee Miguel met some of the musicians who would later shape his professional circle such as Ray Monteiro.