A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz

Play associated audio

Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.

"I think right now in Galicia, there are more bagpipe players than soccer players, which is a very big statement to say," Pato says. "But, you know, bagpipes, they are all around the world, and they are all related to the people where they are from. ... It's probably one of the oldest instruments in history."

The gaita's stark, commanding sound is an odd fit for jazz, but Pato says she's been able to use that contrast to her advantage.

"I think that is the reason I get so passionate about the instrument," she says. "It has so many beautiful limitations that really make you work harder to get things done."

Here, Pato speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about moving from Spain to New York, fielding bagpipe questions from strangers and getting up the nerve to record a Miles Davis tune. Hear more of their conversation by clicking the audio link on this page.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Miss Colombia Wins Pageant; Miss Jamaica Wins Twitter?

Days later, bad feelings linger among the Miss Universe pageant viewers who believe that the wrong contestant won. Many watchers on social media say Miss Jamaica should being wearing the crown.
NPR

Watch 'Bob's Burgers'? Now You Can Eat Them, Too

What happens when you try to make a burger out of a pun? One blog, two years, and dozens of recipes later, millions of fans can now cook up their very own Bob's burgers.
WAMU 88.5

Drilling Off Virginia Coast Could Harm Neighboring States, Cardin Says

The Obama administration has decided to open up the Atlantic states to offshore drilling, a move that is not playing well among East Coast democrats like U.S. Sen. Cardin (D-MD).
NPR

Facebook Suffers Self-Inflicted Outage

A Facebook statement said the disruption was caused by a technical change it made to the site and wasn't a cyberattack. The outage lasted an hour.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.