Thursday, March 08, 2012

Multiple Award-Winning, Harmonica-Wielding, Blues Man Coming to Spruce Grove

Carlos del Junco and the Blues Mongrels perform at Horizon Stage on Friday, March 23, 2012

Carlos del Junco is a Juno-nominated, multiple Maple Blues Award-winner, who wields a harmonica like Jimmy Hendrix wielded a guitar. This double gold-medal winner at the Hohner World Harmonica Championship in Germany has a command of the mouth organ that is absolute. He “blows his blues harp through a prism and suddenly it seems he's holding every color in the musical rainbow right there in his hands”. Experience Carlos del Junco’s incredible energy, musicianship, and style Up Close and Personal at Horizon Stage when he and his band, The Blues Mongrels, perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 23rd.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Carlos del Junco (loosely translated "of the reeds") immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of one. He bent his first note on a harmonica when he was fourteen, making his debut at a student talent night. Since 1997 he has won an astounding eight Harmonica Player of the Year Maple Blues Awards. He has recorded with Bruce Cockburn, Kim Mitchell, Cassandra Vassick, Oliver Schroer and Zappacosta, worked with Dutch Mason, Hoc Walsh (Downchild Blues Band) and Holly Cole, and opened for legendary musician, Ray Charles.

Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, Carlos’s playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz - hence the name for his band. The Blues Mongrels’ emphasis is on blues, but they 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. With a total of 6 recordings together, Carlos del Junco and the Blues Mongrels’ 2005 CD was favorably called “a kaleidoscopic of musical ideas and shapes (that) blends numerous genres (Blues, Latin, Bluegrass, Jazz, Bebop, Country, Classical, R&B) into a coherent whole” by one critic. Their 2011 CD, Mongrel Mash, continues that tradition with similar highly-acclaimed musical “mashes”.

Prepare to be blown away - no pun intended - by Carlos del Junco and The Blues Mongrels at Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove on Friday, March 23rd. Concert start time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are just $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors. Purchase your tickets by calling the Spruce Grove City Hall Ticket Centre at 780-962-8995, come in person to 315 Jespersen Avenue, or go online at Horizon Stage is located at 1001 Calahoo Road, attached to Spruce Grove Composite High School.

“Blues fans hold on to your hats! Harp players lock your gear in the closet. This is the caliber of player who plays so well that I have wanted to throw my gear in the river…he is THAT good.”
Bill Wilson (Billtown

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