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

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

NPR's Michel Martin will sit down with a panel of award-winning playwrights to ask about diversity in theater. Follow here or join us on Twitter on Friday at 7 p.m. ET, using #NPRMichel.
NPR

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

Two major doughnut chains have bowed to consumer pressure to better police their palm oil purchases. Environmentalists say it's a win for consumers, trees and animals.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Legislators Kill Medicaid Expansion Effort

The Republican majority killed a compromise effort on a 64 to 33 vote. That means no action will be taken to expand Virginia's Medicaid program.
NPR

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

NPR's Michel Martin will sit down with a panel of award-winning playwrights to ask about diversity in theater. Follow here or join us on Twitter on Friday at 7 p.m. ET, using #NPRMichel.

Leave a Comment

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