By the time Spanish multi-instrumentalist Carlos Núñez rolls into the Harbour City he will have logged over 17,000 kilometres on his North American tour.
Fresh off shows in North Vancouver, Seattle and Olympia, Wash., Núñez has fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest.
“We’ve met so many people and so many friends on the West Coast,” Núñez told the News Bulletin.
On Wednesday (Sept. 24), Núñez, a Grammy Award winner, will be performing at the Port Theatre. Following his Nanaimo performance, which will be his first on Vancouver Island, Núñez will head to Victoria, where he will play three shows.
“I know the West Coast of Canada is full of Scottish music and the Celtic heritage,” he said. “So we will really feel at home.”
Núñez, who hails from northwest Spain, began playing the recorder as a young boy and eventually began playing the gaita, which are bagpipes that originate from Spain.
“I was really fascinated with the energy that came from my pipes,” Núñez said about his attraction to the instrument. “They [the gaita] have 1,000 years of history. They are the pipes that went from Galicia to Scotland and Ireland. So the old Scottish pipes and Irish pipes came from the Galicia region.”
Today, he plays a wide variety of unique wind instruments including the ocarina.
“The ocarina is very special,” he said. “When I play the ocarina it is like I am in a pre-historic time.”
Earlier this year, Núñez released his newest record, Inter-Celtic to Sony Music, which has a unique mix of jazz, rock, Irish and Galician sounds.
“I think the pipes are the electric guitar of the Middle Age,” he said. “One thousand years ago the pipes had that kind of power as the electric guitar does today. That’s why it is so natural … to play with different musicians.”
Although Núñez has won awards and been nominated for others, it’s the reaction of the crowd that he loves most.
“I think the best award is having a magical connection with the audience,” Núñez said.
Núñez performs at the Port Theatre on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit www.porttheatre.com.