Harmonica Spain > Harmonica players > In Spain > Ñaco Goñi
Ñaco Goñi

A life totally dedicated to the Blues. At the age of 14, in 1981, he quit school and went down into the Madrid metro to accompany singer/guitarist Malcolm Scarpa, a duo that has endured all these years.

Between 1981 and 1985, the duo combined this daily activity with mini performances, for tips only, in clubs in the Malasaña and Centro neighborhoods of Madrid. They also played in two groups led by Malcolm: El sonotone de Malcolm (Malcolm’s Hearing Aid) and Standart Band.

During this same period, Ñaco was invited every night to play with Whisky David, a Scottish keyboard player who had lived in Madrid for ages. Other musicians show up at these jam sessions, the likes of Jose Carlos Molina (Ñu), Ulises Montero (Gabinete), and José María Guzmán (Cánovas, Adolfo, Rodrigo y Guzmán), among others. It was here that Ñaco met Tonky de la Peña, and after a few gigs, he became a part of the original lineup of the Tonky  Blues Band.

In the years between 1986 and 1991 Tonky Blues Band established its Blues circuit and played in festivals such as “I Festival de Blues de Antequera” and “I Festival de Blues de Madrid”. They opened for Johnny Mars, who they jammed with at the Coquette Blues Bar in Madrid, a place where Michael Coleman, James Cotton’s musicians, Kevin Ayers and Ollie Hansel also played with the band. In addition, Tonky and Ñaco were invited to play at San Juan Evangelista (Madrid) with Johnny Copeland. As well, the band recorded two albums with Ñaco’s participation..

Ñaco collaborated with his harmonica on the single “Motoristas” (“Bikers”) on Loquillo y los Trogloditas’ album “Mis problemas con las mujeres” (“My Problems with Women”).

He has also recorded and performed with the legendary group Mermelada ever since the death of their original harmonica player Moro at the end of the 80’s.

In 1991 Ñaco quit the Tonky Blues Band and started up his duo again with Malcolm Scarpa (though they had never really stopped). Together they formed Los Jockers and recorded the LP “Doin´our Kind” along with Francisco Simón, Steve Jordon and Elvia Aguilar.

Los Jockers (1991 – 1995) played at festivals, special programs, and on various occasions opened for and accompanied: Lazy Lester, Louisiana Red, Carey Bell, Bernard Allison and Rick “Eureka” Jones. They also performed with other national Blues groups: Mama Montse, Caledonia Blues Band, Algeciras Blues Express, Armonica Couxa…

Around the same time Ñaco also recorded with Cool Jerks, Salvador Dominguez, Emilio Aragon, Le Mans, Cánovas, Adolfo y Guzmán, Rosa León, Clara Montes, Miguel Rios  (on the song “Cerca del mar” /”Near the Sea”). He accompanied Javier Vargas at the San Sebastian Jazz Festival, and also recorded music for ads and TV series ( “Al salir de clase”) and was a guest performer on stage with innumerable musicians, both national and international (such as Bill Perry, Big Jack Johnson, etc.)

When los Jockers broke up, Ñaco and Armando Marcé (ex – drummer for Tonky Blues Band, among other groups) formed Los Bluescavidas with Oskar González, Phineas Sánchez, Salva Carsi, and Kapo Alburquerque. As already mentioned, the band has undergone some changes, the definitive members are: Ñaco, Armando, Kapo and Jorge “Flaco” Barral.

Ñaco has taken part in other important musical events, with Los Bluescavidas, also with the Finn Ille Hammalainen, with Amar Sundy, with Zack Pratter, with Malcolm Scarpa  (whom he recorded a second LP with: Malcolm – Ñaco “Berriz Blues Sessions”, and performed with in both the San Sebastián Jazz Festival [along with Tapia eta Leturia Jazbana] and the Getxo Blues Festival ’99). Ñaco also worked up a project with the great harmonica player Antonio Serrano called “Armónicas de fuego” (“Harmonicas of Fire”). Also participating in this project were: Pancho Company, Francisco Simón, Jose Luis Martín, Dan Rochllis, and Malcolm Scarpa.

Plus all the things we haven’t remembered and, above all,  what’s yet to come.

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