Northern Nights, the performing arts series of Northern Michigan University, continues on Saturday, October 4 with a performance by the Galacian bagpiper, Carlos Núñez and his band. The performance will take place at the Kaufman Auditorium and will begin at 7:30p.m. Tickets for the concert are available in advance or at the door, for the following prices: Students/Kids – $6 adv./$7 door; NMU Faculty/Staff/Seniors 60+ – $14 adv./$16 door; General Public: $19 adv./$21 door. All tickets include a $1 Kaufman capital improvement fee.
To watch a video of Carlos Núñez performing, please click on this link, http://youtu.be/LG9tp1_UQFs.
When the Los Angeles Times suggested that “if it’s possible to become a pop star playing traditional music on bagpipes and recorder, Núñez could be the man,” it may have been an understatement. Few pop stars pack the energy, virtuosity, imagination, daring, and charisma into their concerts and recordings as Galician multi-instrumentalist Carlos Núñez does. He is the world’s most famous player of the gaita, the bagpipes of Galicia, Spain’s northwest, Atlantic Ocean-abutting region rich in vibrant, uniquely expressive Celtic traditional music. Nevertheless, several decades ago Paddy Moloney, leader of the celebrated Irish traditional band the Chieftains, called Galicia “the unknown Celtic country,” implying that traditional music as exciting as Galicia’s was overdue for a global breakout in awareness and acclaim. Like the Chieftains, who became Ireland’s foremost ambassadors of Irish traditional music by spreading its appeal internationally, Carlos Núñez has become Galicia’s foremost traditional music ambassador by doing the same. He takes that important responsibility very seriously but without a shred of self-importance.
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. But he also understands the pitfalls of traditional music becoming incrementally complacent in approach and insulated from innovation. Under those conditions, even the heartiest music can eventually slip into predictability. Carlos respects and seeks to safeguard Galicia’s musical legacy while also skillfully exploring fresh, fascinating realms of possibility for it. All of that can be heard to great effect on his new CD, Inter-Celtic, released by Sony Music on February 10.