Festival favourite Carlos Núñez returns to Celtic Connections with a stunning show based on his latest acclaimed album Alborada do Brasil, exploring the musical links between his native Galicia and Brazil. After previous collaborations with everyone from Alan Stivell to Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder to Monserrat Caballé, Núñez originally visited Brazil on the trail of his emigrant grandfather. With Galicia and Portugal having once formed a single medieval kingdom, he discovered that Iberian bagpipes like his own had preceded him there by some 500 years. Alongside Núñez’s regular band, tonight’s performance features Brazilian guests Fernanda Cabral (vocals) and Alan Souza (percussion), plus Scottish drumming troupe Rhythm Wave and The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.


Carlos has spent three years in Brazil researching and recording his new album “Alborada do Brasil” (Sony) that is receiving some of his best reviews to date.

He went after the traces of his great grandfather, the only musician that preceded him in his family, who emigrated to Brazil early 20th century and disappeared. Not only he found out what had happened of him but also unexpected cultural connections of the huge country and his small Galicia :

When the Portuguese first set feet in Brazil, the first instrument they played for the indigenous people were the bagpipes and to its sound they shared a dance, as described in their first letter to the King of Portugal in 1500. Even nowadays, Brazil’s oldest military corps, the Fuzileiros Navais from Rio, still play the pipes. And throughout the interior of the country we can hear pipe music, with their drones and ornamentation, although played by other instruments such as old fiddles, whistles, flutes, and accordions (called “gaita”, meaning bagpipes in Galician), but mixed with their amazing African percussion and rhythms.

Portuguese language originated in medieval Galician. For historical reasons Galicia and Portugal separated, being Galicia now part of Spain, but in the same way the North of Portugal is much closer culturally to Galicia, than to the South, the same can be applied to the rural Portuguese that populated Brazil. The Portuguese spoken in Brazil is still closer to Galician than that from Lisbon.

Even the name of Brazil seems to come from the Irish legend of Hy Brasil, the disappearing island, the Tir na Nog, the paradise behind the sunset, that obviously medieval-minded Atlantic sailors thought to have found seeing the coasts of the New World.

Carlos is joined by 100 musicians in the album : Adriana Calcanhotto, Lenine, Carlinhos Brown, Dominguinhos, Yamandu, Escola de Samba Beija Flor, DJ CIA, Fernanda Takai… but also The Chieftains. The album was produced by Carlos with Alê Siqueira (Tribalistas, Omara Portuondo) and Mario Caldato Jr. (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson, Marisa Monte).

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Le Telegramme
France 3, broadcast friday 7 min. 9:24

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Carlos has been honored by the invitation of the National Concert Hall in Dublin to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a very special concert www.nch.ie .
Carlos’s band will be joined by the Orchestra of the National Concert Hall conducted by David Brophy, with whom Carlos has already performed several orchestral programmes internationally. www.carlosnunez.com
arlos feels at home at the Concert Hall, where he has performed in several occasions, one of his concerts was even attended by Irish President Mary MacAleese, who talked with Carlos and the band backstage after the show in perfect Spanish!

The Concert Hall has kindly chosen Carlos for the front page of their beautiful 2009 calendar.

Portada Calendario 2009
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Friday 21 September Carlos will play at the Festival Ovale in Paris, because of the Rugby World Cup. The concert will take place just after the France-Ireland match, at the Village Rugbycolor, in Saint Denis, just beside the Stadium.

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Due to the general strike that started in Israel this morning, the Jerusalem concert has been postponed until a new date yet to be decided. Carlos and the band deeply regret this because they had a personal interest in doing this special concert and hope they will be able to compensate fans soon.

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Carlos has recently participated in the soundtrack to “Gedo Senki” (Tales from EarthSea), an animation movie from the legendary Studio Ghibli that has been a huge success in Japan. This is Goro Miyasaki’s first movie.

Ghibli were so happy about Carlos’s participation that they even commissioned him to make a full album based on the movie and its soundtrack. It is called “Melodies from Gedo Senki”.

The album will be presented next May 9 at Tokyo NHK concert hall. Carlos will have as special guests the great Akiko Yano, as well as Gedo Senki’s composer Tamiya Terashima and Aoi Teshima singer of the movie’s theme.

Carlos is on tour in Japan at the moment. The tour is called “Image”, a concept that brings together musicians and their image related works, such as movie soundtracks or TV commercials. Carlos is the only non-Japanese artist on tour, surrounded by big Japanese instrumental music stars.

Carlos will have his own tour in Japan next October.

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