Harmonica ‘wizard’ blows audience away
Award-winning harmonica ‘wizard’ Carlos del Junco and his band The Blues Mongrels play The ACT in Maple Ridge on Saturday.
Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz. The emphasis is on blues, but the The Cuban-born musician from Toronto 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.
The Blues Mongrels are: bassist Henry Heillig, guitarist Eric St. Laurent, and Mark Mariash on drums.
Not your straight-ahead blues harmonica player, del Junco will occasionally take a blues standard and flip it upside down to breathe new life into it.
Playing a 10-hole diatonic harmonica, del Junco has developed the unique ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed “overblow” technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy.
Del Junco 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. He is the recipient of numerous awards, and was a Juno Award nominee.