Mercedes Peón Ancient and Contemporary Songs of Galicia, Spain

Mercedes Peón is a Galician bagpiper and multi-instrumentalist from La Coruña, Galicia, Spain.

Galicia is an autonomous community (a state) in the northwest corner of Spain. Galicia and the neighboring Asturias were never conquered by the Moors. Very old Spanish culture lives in these regions.

Galicia is also very modern. Today it is the home of Inditex. The parent company of Zara is one of the world’s largest fashion retailers. They created the Fast Fashion concept going from runway to store in a few weeks. Inditex details clothing in the final stages of manufacturing so they can respond to trends quickly. Some serious computer systems manage the entire process.

Galicians share a Celtic culture (and genetics) with the people of western Ireland. Some say the so-called Black Irish are a remnant of the wreckage of the Spanish Armada in 1588. It’s more likely that the people of both regions are simply Atlantic seafarers. It took a special courage to sail the open seas. When the Black Death felled Europe in the 14th century, the only way out was the sea.

Mercedes Peón Makes New Music in the Old Ways

Like her homeland what you should expect from Peón is something old that is also something new. She writes new songs in old styles and mixes traditional instruments with contemporary electronics.

In a way, Peón is a Galician Laurie Anderson or Björk. All of these artists stretch their music in unexpected ways.

Listening to Peón, you can’t help but hear something far, far away. That’s what happens when an artist performs from the depths of their soul.

Mercedes Peón in New York City

Peón makes her U.S. debut at The Graduate Center Elebash Recital Hall in Murray Hill, Manhattan on December 8, 2017 at 7 pm. $25 (Free for CUNY students, faculty, and staff)

CUNY folks should make email reservations at and show CUNY ID at the door.

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