Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Blowin' the Blues
del Junco, the Jimi Hendrix of harpsmen, to play Memorial Hall March
Released by Ed Stenson, Harrison Festival
are delighted to be bringing blues harmonica wizard Carlos del Junco
back to Harrison. No one plays harmonic like Carlos.
Carlos del Junco is one of the best harmonica players on the planet, to
say del Junco plays the harmonica is like saying "Jimi Hendrix plays
He blows the blues harp through a prism -- suddenly it seems he's
holding every color in the musical rainbow right there in his hands. The
Harrison Festival Society presents Carlos del Junco & the Blues Mongrels
on Saturday, March 30 in the Harrison Memorial Hall.
Carlos is one of those players whose music is so advanced that when it
comes to awards, it's either retire the category or rephrase the
question to "Best Harmonica Player Not Named Carlos". This includes two
Gold Medals from the Hohner World Harmonica Championship in Trossingen,
Germany, as well as multiple national awards in Canada.
sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues
and jazz (hence the name for his band “The Blues Mongrels”).
The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band are not afraid to
merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of
New Orleans second line grooves, swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies,
to swampy roots rock.
Born in Havana, Cuba, del Junco (loosely translated "of the reeds")
immigrated with his family at the age of one. He bent his first note on
a harmonica when he was fourteen, making his debut with his high school
math teacher at a student talent night. In his early 20's del Junco was
immersed in a visual arts career; he graduated with honours from a four
year program, majoring in sculpture at the Ontario College of Art.
Sculpture has definitely had an influence on his outlook on music:
"Music is just a different way of creating textures and shapes."
Playing a ten hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed the unique
ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed "overblow"
technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. Overall, this
approach to the diatonic harmonica, although much more difficult to
achieve, is in many ways more expressive and communicative than the
mechanized tone produced by the chromatic harmonica. Carlos is one of
the few pioneers of this overblow method, bringing musical credibility
to what has still been considered by many in the music industry - a
fringe folk instrument.
He has recorded with Bruce Cockburn, Kim Mitchell, Oliver Schroer,
Zappacosta, and has also worked with Dutch Mason, Hoc Walsh (Downchild
Blues Band) and Holly Cole. Carlos has toured Canada regularly since
1996 and tours often in Europe and the United States. He has played all
the major jazz, blues, and folk festivals across Canada.
Del Junco and the band perform Saturday, March 30 8:00pm in the Harrison
Memorial Hall. Tickets are $22.00 and can be purchased by phone at
604-796-3664, online at
www.harrisonfestival.com or in person at the Ranger Station
Art Gallery in Harrison, or Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart.
Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice