Artist Q&A

@JamminJavaMei's Q&A With Carlos Nunez


Carlos Nunez is a world-class musician from Galacia, Spain who plays the gaita, the traditional Galician bagpipe. He has collaborated with Ry Cooder, Sharon Shannon, Sinéad O'Connor, The Chieftains, Altan, La Vieja Trova Santiaguera, and many others. We're thrilled to have him at Jammin Java on his North American tour this Sunday! Check out the video below for a taste of his virtuosity! Tickets are available here.

Where and when was your first show?

I was 8 when I started playing gaita, the Galician bagpipes, and I actually fainted due to overblowing the first time, ha, ha! Not many months after that, I dared to play at the local fiesta in my grandparents’ little village in the countryside and everyone started dancing and wouldn't let me stop -- that was a turning point in my life!

What band/artist would you consider to be your main influence? The Chieftains, no doubt!

What is one of your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experiences?

Again, I think probably touring with The Chieftains in America, when I joined them for hundreds of concerts in the 1990s. My first concert with them was in New York, a TV event at Carnegie Hall with The Who, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam... What better university could any musician have?

Favorite Food:

Seafood! And by the way, Galicia - in the beautiful northwest Atlantic coast of Spain, where I was born - is world-famous for its shellfish!

Favorite Drink:

With that food, you should try the Galician white wine Albariño if you haven't done so. And it's becoming more and more popular in America.

If you were to have a film/movie based on your career, which actors or band would you select to portray yourself?

My God, I'd like to think I'm still too young for a film about my career! Perhaps Martin Sheen? He's half Irish and half Galician! Have you seen his movie about The Way of St James (Camino de Santiago de Compostela), the pilgrimage to Galicia's capital city? Despite the age difference, he certainly has more hair than I do though, ha ha!

What two words would best describe your music?

I usually say, "Celtic music with Spanish passion", but in two words... Celtic Latin!


One of the favorites would be this one in my hometown, Vigo, about 10 years ago, when I celebrated my 30th birthday with friends on stage -- and of course I invited The Chieftains:

*NOTE: the above video “Irish Dance Set” is included in the newest Carlos Núñez CD/DVD release “Inter-Celtic” available now on Sony Music.