Carlos Nunez is probably Galicia’s most well-known, enduring and revered musician, with an undisputed reputation as one of the great Pipers.
From the Celtic region of northern Spain, Carlos is a multi-instrumentalist, his signature instrument, the Gaita (Galician bagpipe). He also plays pastoral pipes, ocarina, whistle and recorder. He is enormously popular throughout Spain, Europe, Latin America and the USA.
His albums regularly attain gold and platinum status in Spain, and he has sold well over 1 million albums worldwide. Widely known to, and held in high renown by Irish music fans thanks to his early “adoption” by Irish supergroup, the Chieftains (so close was his musical and personal connection to the group that he was dubbed “The Seventh Chieftain”).
Born in 1971 and raised in the Galician port of Vigo, where he initially picked up the gaita at age eight, Carlos both embodies and reflects the irrepressible spirit of his native music. Carlos respects and exploring fresh, fascinating realms of possibility for it. All of that can be heard to great effect on his current CD, Inter-Celtic, released by Sony Music.
This summer Carlos heads for two very special concerts in Hampshire. It will be a welcome return for the piper who takes his special brand of Celtic music around the world playing venues from the most acoustically acclaimed concert halls with huge symphony orchestras to festivals, engaging with whole new audiences.
When Carlos played Royal Albert Hall in 2014 it was as support to a sold out audience for Julio Iglesias – he vowed to return.
A trip to the Isle of Skye under the tutelage of Professor Hugh Cheape to research the movement of peoples and music from Northern Spain to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland and on to the Americas and Patagonia led to a performance at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow this January with musicians from many Celtic nations of the world.
His next visit to the UK will be on 5th August for an unforgettable intimate, up-close and personal concert at Chapel Sessions, Royal Victoria Country Park near Southampton followed by Wickham Music Festival the following day in a gigantic big top provide not one but two opportunities to see Carlos play in the south of England. Fans buying for both can get a free VIP upgrade on production of their Netley ticket at Wickham.
Playing with his band – brother Xurxo Nunez on percussion and Pancho Alvarez on Portuguese guitar, they play ‘music that smiles with every note’. Expect a wonderful evening of Celtic music with a few surprises! It is indeed an honour they are bringing their unique blend of music to the Chapel for what should be an unforgettable performance.
Carlos recently gave a personal insight into his life and music in the following interview:-
How are you feeling about playing in England this summer?”
It’s a big pleasure. Although we’d toured there last year, including The Royal Albert Hall opening for Julio Iglesias, it’s been many years since we played in England in summer. After doing many summer festivals in the US these last couple of years and with the experiences lived through the last few albums, we have lots to tell and share with the English audiences!
“What do you love about travelling the world with your music”
I think it’s a great way to connect people, not only pulling different cultures together but making people feel the call of their own roots. I don’t think of travelling just for making a living but as my master Paddy Moloney from the Chieftains says, “we have a mission”.
“You love to include local musicians in your shows, this must be very rewarding?”
Yes, I do love inviting local talent, especially if they’re young and play traditional instruments. I remember how happy the Chieftains made me when they invited me to play with them as a child and also how encouraging it was for the self confidence of my own local culture – that changed my life!
You often find that the young player you invited once, the next time you play in that same place have become pros, or teachers who’ve multiplied that message.
“What are your favourite music artists that you chill out to?”
The truth is I’m always thinking of new music. Even secretly, I’m always working on new stuff, no matter if I’m travelling or relaxing walking in a forest. Perhaps the best music for me to chill out is the soundtrack of the sea… but it also has the power to make me imagine new things inside me.
Chapel Sessions are a community led not for profit occasional music series in the acoustically acclaimed Victorian Chapel, Royal Victoria Country Park Netley Southampton Tickets available Hantsweb online shop www.hants.gov.uk/shop
And for Wickham Festival www.wickhamfestival.co.uk
Sonja Davison – Chapel Sessions Music