The Cumbria Gaita Band has a line-up of several Galician pipers (usually around four), plus two percussionists who play traditional Galician bombo (bass drum) and tambor (snare drum). The word ‘gaita’ (pronounced “guy-ta”) means ‘bagpipe’ in the Spanish and Galician languages, so a ‘gaita band’ is simply a pipe band. However, Galicia, in the North-Western part of Iberia, North of Portugal, has a strong and distinctive music tradition that incorporates a strong celtic influence, and the Galician Gaita is the predominant ‘voice’ for this kind of music.
The Cumbria Gaita Band was founded in 2014 in Kendal by Colin Blakey and Philippa Bull of Macaroon Music. Colin has been interested in Galician Celtic music since he first lived in Galicia in the 1980’s, when he joined a local Galician folk group band as guitarist and flute player. At that time he collected many tunes that now form the basis of the Cumbria Gaita Band’s repertoire.
The Cumbria Gaita Band is available for fairs, festivals, carnivals, fetes, garden parties, weddings, ceilidh dances and gatherings of all kinds. They have played at: the Penrith torchlight procession during the Winter Droving celebrations two years running, Sedbergh Chamber of Trade Christmas fair, Cumbria Playing for Change Festival, Kendal Moonfest, and the Lyth Valley’s Damson Day, etc
They also host a monthly Galician music session at various locations - check our Facebook page for details. All players (of any instrument) are welcome to come and join in.