Canadian harmonica virtuoso Carlos del Junco and his band plays Harrison’s Memorial Hall March 17.

Carlos del Junco Brings his Unique Harmonica Virtuosity to Harrison Memorial Hall

Harmonica wizard and his band are returning festival favourites

On Saturday, March 17, Harrison Festival Society will be bringing Canadian harmonica virtuoso Carlos del Junco and his band to Harrison’s Memorial Hall.

Considered across the Canadian music industry to be a master in his field, del Junco is one of Canada’s busiest touring musicians. He is no stranger to the Harrison Festival, having played both the season and the festival on different occasions. Artistic director Andy Hillhouse notes that “Carlos is probably one of the most popular artists we have had at the festival over the years. He has always garnered a solid following wherever he goes because of the awesome, unique sound he gets on the harmonica, and the way his shows have a lot of variety in them with lots of delicious grooves. He’s a real pro.”

Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, Carlos del Junco’s playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz. 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, and 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 and in his early 20’s del Junco was immersed in a visual arts career. Sculpture has definitely had an influence on his outlook on music. As he states, “music is just a different way of creating textures and shapes.” That almost visual approach is obvious in the colorful tone he gets on the harmonica.

Carlos is one of the few pioneers of this “overblow” method on the harmonica, bringing musical credibility to what is still often considered by many in the music industry as a fringe folk instrument. The sophisticated sound produced by del Junco is at once sensitive, soulful, and sexy while never forgetting the rawness inherent in blues music

The Concert will begin at 8:00pm on Saturday, March 17 inside the Harrison Memorial Hall. Doors will open at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at harrisonfestival.com, by calling 604-796-3554, or at the Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart.

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