Celtiberia

Celt Iberia

Specializing in Spanish Celtic, the music of Galicia, Asturias, and Cantabria

 

Celtic Nations - England (Cornwall), France (Brittany), Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland, Spain (northern regions), Wales

Celt Iberia has evolved from Spain's Celtic past. The provinces of Galicia and Asturias, in particular, have their own music and dance forms, and regional dialects of Spanish: Galego and Asturianu.

In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, the basis of Spanish Celtic was the "gaita and tamboril," the Spanish bagpipe and drum. This music was performed at public festivals, ceremonies, government and private functions, funerals, and other events.  Spanish Celtic music evolved to include bagpipes, the zanfona (hurdy gurdy), flutes, voice, violin, percussion, and other instruments, whose histories go back further than the Middle Ages.  Today there are many groups in Spain dedicated to preserving and expanding this music throughout Spain and the world.

It may be strange to think of Spain as a Celtic culture but, the Galician and Asturian landscapes are dotted with pre-Roman archeological Celtic settlements, and this region of Europe was once populated by a people who spoke a Celtic tongue. These people were called the Iberian Celts. This is the origin of our musical group's name, Celt Iberia.

Celt Iberia was founded in 2006 in Houston by flamenco guitarist, Valdemar Phoenix. At the time, Phoenix had been playing flamenco guitar for over 36 years. He was inspired when he heard a flamenco guitar piece that he had played for years in a recorded arrangement by the famous Spanish 'gaitero', Carlos Nunez. He was also fascinated by the zanfona (hurdy gurdy) and decided to start playing the ancient instrument. Having played piano and accordion as a youngster helped him understand the function of the zanfona. 

Both Valdemar and his wife, singer Lucia Rodriguez, loved this Spanish Celtic music so forming the group was a joy for both. The original Celt Iberia included flamenco musicians Garrett King on flute and Maria Alegre on violin. Today you can also hear the sound of the 'gaita' (bagpipe) and flutes played by Juanlu Alonso from Burgos, Spain. Second violinist from Guadalajara, Spain is Ernesto Rodriguez, Aaron Hermes on percussion and Martin Rodriguez on guitar. 

 

                                    Free Range Studios in Houston, 12, 2014 

At the Clear Lake Celtic Festival 2011

JuanLu - Gaitero (Spanish Bagpiper)

 

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