Uxía Domínguez Senlle, better known as Uxía, was born November 19, 1962 in Sanguiñeda, Spain. She took on singing at an early age and despite having access to all types of music, she has always felt most strongly drawn to the music characteristic of her region. Her first CD with traditional Galician songs was released in 1986, a collaboration with musicians who went on to become members of her band, Na Lua.
After two more albums with this line-up, Uxia shifted the focus of her activities to live performances. She toured throughout Spain and the rest of Europe, through Cuba and Argentina and was a celebrated guest at various festivals worldwide.
These experiences not only intensified Uxia’s insight into the culture she represents but also brought her into contact with many representatives of other related folk music traditions. “Estou Vivindo No Ceo” (I live in heaven) was her first international release.
Foliada de marzo (Edigal, 1986) A estrela de maio, with Na Lúa (Edigal, 1987) Ondas do mar de Vigo, with Na Lúa (GASA, 1989) Entre cidades (Sons Galiza, 1991) Estou vivindo no ceo (Nubenegra, 1995) La sal de la vida (Nubenegra, 1997) Danza das areas, (Virgin, 2000) Cantos na maré (Nordesía, 2005) Eterno navegar (World Village, 2008) Meu canto (Fol Música, 2011) Andando a terra (Fundación Manuel María, 2012) Rosalía pequeniña (Galaxia/Sonárbore, 2013) Baladas da Galiza imaxinaria (Edicións Damadriña, 2015) Canta o cuco (Editorial Galaxia, 2015) Uxía canta a Manuel María (Fundación Manuel María, 2015) UXIA-O (Fundación Uxío Novoneyra, 2017)
Na Lúa was formed in the early 1980s in Porriño, Pontevedra, with the intention of dignifying traditional Galician music.
Since its inception, the group went ahead of the times when conceiving traditional music and folk music as elements of a contemporary music with a universal vocation.
Na Lúa assimilated influences from medieval music, Eastern Europe, Latin American rhythms, as well as sounds from Portugal, Ireland, Africa and Asia.
Throughout these years, Na Lua performed at the most significant musical events in Europe and received important awards.
Band members included: Cándido Lorenzo – gaita, clarinet, flutes; Xabier Camba – drums, percussion; Ricardo Pereiro – bajo, vocals; Antón Rodríguez – gaita, sax, flutes; and Xabier Debesa – accordion, vocals, percussion, programming.
Na Lúa (Edigal, 1985) A Estrela De Maio (Edigal, 1987) Ondas Do Mar De Vigo (Grabaciones Accidentales, 1988) Contradanzas (Sons Galiza, 1991) Peliqueiro (Sons Galiza, 1994) Os Tempos Son Chegados (Do Fol, 1997) Feitizo (Do Fol, 1999)
Rodrigo Romero, better known as Rodrigo Romaní, was born in Noia, Spain in 1957. He was involved in the Galician folk song movement in the second half of the 1970s. He formed a duo with fellow musician Antón Seoane.
Together with Seoane and with the traditional music group, Faíscas del Xiabre, Rodrigo founded the seminal folk group Milladoiro in 1979.
With Milladoiro he won several international awards, toured the world folk scene and recorded several albums. In 2001 he left the group to devote himself to other artistic and educational activities.
Milladoiro (Ruada 1978) A Galicia de Maeloc (Ruada 1979) O Berro Seco (Ruada 1980) Milladoiro 3 (CBS 1982) Solfafria (CBS 1984) Galicia no Pais das Maravillas (CBS 1986) Divinas Palabras ( ION 1987) Castellum Honesti (Ariola/Green Linnet 1989) Galicia no Tempo (Discmedi/Green Linnet 1991) A Via Lactea (Cormoran 1993) A Xeometria da alma (Cormoran 1993) Iacobus Magnus (Discmedi 1994) Gallaecia Fulget (Cormoran 1995) As Fadas de Estraño Nome (Discmedi 1995) No Confin dos Verdes Castros (1999) Auga De Maio (Discmedi 1999) Cabana de Bergantiños (1999)
Luar Na Lubre was founded by multi-instrumentalist Bieito Romero (bagpipes, tin Whistle, punteiro, diatonic accordion; guitarist Daniel Cerqueiro; percussionist Xulio Varela; bassist and mandolinist Roberto Douro; and piper and percussionist Xan Cerqueiro.
Although the ensemble has had various lineup changes, it is one of the longest-lasting Galician folk groups in the past decades. Most of the group’s music are new arrangements of traditional Galician music found in old books and collected by doing field research.
Luar Na Lubre adds its personal touch to Galician music by combining traditional instruments with instruments from other traditions and by composing original songs. The band uses fiddle, guitar, flutes, bouzouki, tambourines, bodhrán, pandeiro (Galician frame drum) harp, Galician pipes, accordion, and zanfona (hurdy gurdy).
Luar Na Lubre accomplished several milestones in the past few years. With their albums, Plenilunio and Cabo Do Mundo they sold more than 80,000 copies of each. The band also collaborated with English artist Mike Olfield, performing on one of his tours.
Mike Oldfield recorded on his album Voyager the Luar Na Lubre song “0 Son Do Ar”, which he called “The Sound of the Sun”. This particular song is what has brought the group considerable international recognition.
In 2005 singer Rosa Cedron left the group. She was replaced by Portuguese singer Sara Louraço Vidal, who stayed with the band from 2005 to 2011. Sara was substituted by Paula Rey, who was lead vocalist during 2011-2016. The current singer is Irma Macías.
Leilía is a group of Galician women who are forerunners and makers of the mini-revolution of tambourine music that spread all over Galicia. They got together in the summer of 1989 to recover songs and musical forms that were in danger of extinction. Leilía reproduced and learned it all from the elders they visited throughout Galicia and surrounding regions, recovering traditions they thought lost.
In 1993 they were part of a Pan-Celtic touring project that celebrated the famous Ruta de Santiago, the Saint James Pilgrimage Route. Under the title Hent San Jakez, Leilía toured and recorded together with Bleizi Ruz (Brittany), Cran (Ireland) and La Musgaña (Castile, Spain).
Leilía’s live performances are a colorful and original event. At the beginning of the concerts, the women are dressed in traditional Galician dresses and they perform the pure style of traditional singing: voices accompanies by pandeiretas. Later, a background of acoustic instruments is added, which means a transition between the purest tradition and the horizons of traditional vocal music in the near future.
The group has been a guest on numerous recordings, including albums by the Battlefield Band, Kepa Junkera, Emilio Cao, and Milladoiro.
Vocalists: Mercedes Rodríguez Vázquez – vocals and pandereta (tambourine); Ana María Rodríguez Gómez – vocals and pandereta; Felisa Segade Otero – vocals and pandereta; Patricia Segade Otero – vocals and pandereta; Monserrat Rivera Crespo – vocals and pandereta.
Musicians: Suso de Mens – gaita and accordion; Xoan Porto – guitar; Matilde Balseiro – clarinet and sax; Juan Carlos Duran – bass; Alfredo Teijeiro – drums.
Fía na Roca was formed in 1990 by several former Xorima musicians with the intention to perform music with deep Galician traditional roots, but also with room for creativity and even for the exploration of new musical forms.
The debut album “Fía na roca” (1993) was produced by Luís Delgado and featured a cover design by cartoonist Miguelanxo Prado. The album attracted the attention of the British channel BBC, which chose its music as the soundtrack for the Xacobeo 93.
In 1997, Fía na roca released “Agardando que pasar algo” (Waiting for something to happen) in which they collaborated with the painter Xoan Guerreiro, who simultaneously mounted an itinerant exhibition with the same title as the album. Shortly after its publication, music from the album was chosen to be part of a select compilation that, under the title of Celtic Twilight – Celtic Planet, was published in the United States and in the European Union.
In 2001 the band released its third and last studio album, “Contravento” (Contraviento), with the collaboration of photographer Xosé Garrido. The primary change was the participation of the young Galician singer Sonia Lebedynski, incorporated as seventh member of the band. Again, the Camino de Santiago was related to the music of Fía na roca, since a Japanese Aichi TV used Contravento as the soundtrack of the series based on the work of the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho “O diario de um mago” , titled in Spain “The Pilgrim to Compostela” and where he recounts the pilgrimage that its author made in 1986 along the Camino de Santiago. Fía na roca also took part in one of the episodes of the series, performing the song “Baile de Pandeiras.”
In addition to playing traditional Galician instruments like the gaita (bagpipe), tambourines and frame drums, Fía na Roca played instruments rarely used in Galician folk music like the tin whistle, bouzouki, fiddle, saxophones, Indian percussion and piano.
Musicians: Xosé Ramón Vázquez (accordion, piano, keyboards), Xabier Bueno (low whistle, soprano sax, synthesizers), Quim Fariña (violin), Quico Comesaña (Celtic harp and acoustic guitar), Segundo Grandío (fretless bass), Carlos Castro (darbuka, seashells), Luis Delgado (autoharp), Ana, Carme and Leo Bueno (tambourines).
Emilio Cao is one of the central figures of the Galician Folk music scene. He recovered the use of the harp in Spanish folk music and has had a long and successful career as a harpist, composer and singer. Poetry is very important in Emilio Cao’s work. This is clear in his recordings. He collaborates with current Galician poets such as Suso De Toro, Uxio Novoneira and Anxo Ballesteros.
Cao also adapts pieces from classic Galician authors such as Rosalía Castro and Manuel Antonio. Cao’s 1977 album A Lenda da pedra do destiño (The Legend of the Stone of Destiny) is considered a classic of Galician Celtic music. Most of the music is based on Galician sounds and rhythms, although there is also a medieval Welsh piece, where Cao is accompanied by Cromlech.
Fonte Do Araño (Novola, 1977) Lenda Do Pedra Do Destiño (Guimbarda, 1979) No Manto Da Auga (Guimbarda, 1981) Amiga Alba E Delgada (Edigal, 1986) Cartas Mariñas (Lyricon, 1992) Sinbad En Galicia (Do Fol Edicións, 1996)
Doa was formed in Coruña in 1978 by Bernardo Martinez (flute and percussion), Xoan Piñón (guitar, lute and mandolin) and Enrique Ferreira (cello) accompanying Xose Quintas Canella (vocals, zanfona [hurdy gurdy]). Later, additional musicians were added: Miro Casabella (vocals, zither and zanfona), Xaquin Blanco (gaita [bagpipe] and flute) and Carlos Castro (percussion, vibraphone, keyboards)
The group went through various changes in line-up. Some of the musicians who appeared in recordings and live concerts included: Baldo Martinez, Pepe Bordallo, Javier Jurado, Alfonso Moran, Nora McEvoy, Francisco Luengo, Manuel Varela, Luciano Perez, Xavier Cedron, Roberto Grandal, Javier Ferreiro, etc.
Doa is regarded as a reference in Galicia’s eclectic instrumental music scene prior to the 1980s.
The group’s musical style during its first stage was based in combining several musical influences with Medieval and traditional Galician music using free form arrangements and composing techniques. These characteristics marked Doa’s attitude throughout its history. Its philosophy is based in avoiding self-plagiarism and the repetition of musical formulas that guarantee immediate success, as well as avoiding market and record company pressures that exert too much influence in the musical style of a band.
Doa uses contemporary expression modes, improvisation as a work tool and the combination of traditional folk instruments (gaitas [bagpipes], zanfonas [hurdy gurdies], etc) with state-of-the-art technology (MIDIs, electronic instruments, etc).
Doa has carried out numerous tours throughout Galicia and the rest of Spain, as well as the United States and Canada exposing previously unknown songs from the The Way of St. James pilgrimage route [Camino de Santiago], the Cantigas de Santa Maria (Alfonso X El Sabio [Alfonso the 10th, the Learned]) and its own compositions based in Galician roots.
The band describes its philosophy in the manifest that appeared in its first recording O son da estrela escura:
“Finisterre [Land’s End], at the end of The Way of St. James [Camino de Santiago], is the Dark Star, the last star of the Milky Way. For many years, way before Christianity, it was a mysterious magnet that led many varied Indo-European peoples to Galicia. This was the seed for the development of a unique form of music, born out of magical motivations. This work is a small anthology of traditional pieces from various ages and roots. In its creation we started from music sheets found in different songbooks. We did not intend to do it in an orthodox way, but rather guided, in a subjective manner, by the sensibility that is found in this land.”
Doa’s first recording, “O son da estrela escura” was released in 1979 on the Ruada label. It was reissued in 2003 as part of Son de Galicia, released by La Voz de Galicia.
The second album, “Polaridade” came out in 1984 (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana, Ion Producciones). It featured singer-songwriter Victor Manuel as vocalist and producer. It was reissued by Dos Acordes SL. in 2002 in digital format. An additional 500 pieces were donated to “Nunca Mais”. The Nunca Mais [Never Again] popular movement was formed in Spain in response to the Prestige oil tanker environmental disaster in 2002.
“Perfiles” was released in 1986 by Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana/Ion Producciones, featuring the vocals of yet another famous singer-songwriter, Amancio Prada.
“Arboretum” came out in 2002 on Xingra producciones. The latest album up to now is “A fronda dos cervos” (2006) which includes Galician folk acts Rosa Cedron and Leilia.
O son da estrela escura (Ruada, 1979) Polaridade (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana, 1984) Perfiles (Sociedad Fonografica Asturiana, 1986) Arboretum (Xingra Producciones, 2002) A fronda dos cervos (Fol Musica, 2006)
Chouteira performed Galician tradititonal music sucjh as pasodobles, muiñeiras and waltzes with new arrangements and featured the beautiful voice of Uxía Pedreira. The group incorporated brass to Galician trad music.