Prepare to be moved — right out of your seat. Carlos Núñez, the wildly energetic platinum-selling and Grammy-winning sensation who masterfully fuses Spanish fire and Celtic energy, is making a much-anticipated return to Canada’s West Coast this spring with a new show that further explores the Atlantic corridor of Spain’s Celtic roots that now extend into the new world.
Núñez is best-known for his musical virtuosity on the Galician bagpipes, but he’s a musician with countless instruments and enchantments up his sleeves. He and his multi-talented band and guests will dazzle audiences with music, pipers and dancers at Victoria’s historic McPherson Playhouse on Thursday, April 6, and at the newly renovated Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on Friday, April 7.
“Núñez is an extremely versatile and inspirational entertainer,” says CeltFest Vancouver Island producer Carolyn Phillips-Cusson, who’s worked with Núñez and marvelled at his performances across Canada since 2008. She and her husband, René Cusson, are producing Núñez’s Canadian tour. “From baroque
to rock music, whether he’s playing to a demure symphony audience, or to a crowd of raucous folkies, no one can sit still.”
The magnetic performer was raised in Spain’s northwest, where he started playing music on the recorder as a child.
“And then, because I grew up in Galicia, which is the Scotland or the Ireland of Spain, the next natural step was the pipes, the gaita,” he explains. The gaita is thought to pre-date the Scottish bagpipes and
Ireland’s uilleann pipes. Among aficionados, Núñez is as renowned for his prowess on the gaita as guitarists Jack White and the late Jimi Hendrix are for their guitar chops. He’s also a master of the recorder, the pennywhistle, the ocarina, assorted pipes, a Breton oboe called the “bombarde,” Breton bagpipes, the Jew’s harp, the tin whistle and the flute.
Collaborations are Núñez’s “modus operandi,” in the spirit of traditional music, where the emphasis is not on the music’s author, but on the “collective creation.” His guests on the 2017 North American tour
include María Berasarte, a well-known Spanish singer from the Basque country with Galician heritage, a brilliant young Basque accordion player, Itsaso Elizagoien, and a young Galician fiddler Carmen Gallego,
who will be playing a 12th-century fiddle.
Also featured will be a corps of BC pipers under the direction of Pipe Major René Cusson. A dynamic troupe of Highland and step dancers will also perform, under the direction of Carolyn Phillips-Cusson. The Cussons are devoted to bringing together the Celtic community for CeltFest Vancouver Island, a now 16-year-old institution. After a hiatus while director Phillips-Cusson completed her MBA, Celtic Performing Arts, the Cussons are excited to announce that they’ve resumed bringing some of the world’s greatest acts in the Celtic world to BC, especially Carlos Núñez.
Núñez’s repertoire is inspired by the music of the ancient Celts who occupied Galicia 2,500 years ago, as well as the Celtic traditions of Brittany, Scotland, and Ireland. His work is also influenced by other countries where Galicians have settled, including Cuba and Brazil.
According to Carolyn Phillips-Cusson, “Guest performers are tickled to share the stage with Carlos and we are equally tickled to present him. Magic always happens!”
Tickets to see Carlos Núñez are available online at www.voguetheatre.com and by phone 1.888.732.1682