Galician Bagpipe Music in Durango Thursday
The undisputed master of Galicia’s signature musical instrument, the gaita, or Galician bagpipes, Carlos Nunez has emerged as one of Spain’s most recognizable musicians and is a major force behind the reconstruction of the Galician musical tradition. Núñez was born in Vigo, the port on the northwest corner of Spain that connects Galicia to the world (where Hemingway first set foot in Spain – and it remains today much as he found it). Northern Spain has always embraced the Celtic world, having strong ties to both Ireland and Scotland, and it was those influences Núñez explored with his “pipes” – which he began playing at age 8. His early influences in the contemporary music world come from meeting and performing with The Chieftains – eventually recording and touring with the band before launching his solo career.
Núñez’s music draws on influences ranging from ancient and contemporary Celtic (with a unique Spanish tinge) to Medieval and Baroque, plus borrows from the sounds and styles of Galician settlements, including Cuba, Brazil, Argentina and the United States. With his North American tour, Núñez celebrates 20 years since his debut album, A Irmandade das Estrelas. Joining the tour is 21-year-old accordion prodigy, Itsaso Elizagoien who hails from the Pyrenees in Navarra. Performing on fiddle is Carmen Gallego, who has received critical acclaim for her expertise on the medieval version of the instrument.
Núñez’s special guest is Basque vocalist Maria Berasarte, who has collaborated with Nunez on tour across Spain. Though of Galician descent, she has a passion for Fado, the traditional music of Portugal, and has been lauded by critics as offering the best Fado by a foreign voice. The BBC reported of Núñez, “…inventive, brilliant, progressive minded and a great showman to boot, Núñez fired the imaginations of his own people to such a degree that Spain’s Celtic music scene is on fire.”