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.
Carlos Núñez celebrates 20 years since his debut album A Irmandade das Estrelas (released in the US by Rca Victor as Brotherhood of Stars) that featured The Chieftains, Ry Cooder, old Cuban soneros, Portugal's Dulce Pontes, etc. Carlos' new track called "A Irmandade das Estrelas 2" highlights 21-year-old accordion player Itsaso Elizagoien, who has been touring with Carlos in Europe and will join his band for the U.S. tour. She comes from the Pyrenees in Navarra, the very start of the Way to Santiago in Spain. The second special guest touring with Carlos is fiddler Carmen Gallego who plays the Medieval fiddle as if she has been doing it all her life. And the third special guest is Basque singing star of Galician descent Maria Berasarte, who has collaborated with Carlos in several concerts in Spain. This will be her first tour abroad as guest vocalist with Carlos's band.