Arts and Entertainment

Canada’s acoustic artist of the year performs at SJCT Feb. 3

Harry Manx ... Canada
Harry Manx ... Canada's top acoustic musician performs at San Juan Community Theatre on Feb. 3.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Ask San Juan Island native and musician Ryan Browne about Salt Spring Island’s Harry Manx and he’ll tell you Manx is one of the “great talents to come out of the islands.”

A successful touring performer (he just won “Acoustic Artist of the Year” from Canada’s Maple Blues Awards for the third consecutive year), Manx brings his unique mix of “east meets west” to the San Juan Community Theatre’s Whittier stage on Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Browne saw Manx play a homecoming show on Salt Spring Island in May and urges islanders to not miss this one-of-a-kind talent.

“I first heard him on a local radio station, where sounds of Clapton-esque blues somehow floated effortlessly over a background of tabla rhythms and sitar drones,” Browne said. “It is impossible not to be lured in by his wholesome ragas and bluesy rhythms, not to mention his motley collection of songs and styles, compiled somewhere between Memphis and Mumbai.”

Born on the Isle of Man, Manx left Canada in his teens to live in Europe, Japan, India and Brazil. He honed his hypnotic live show on street corners, in cafes, bars and at festivals. But it was Asian Indian music that captured Manx and, in the mid-1980s, he began his five-year tutelage with Rajasthani Indian musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Grammy winner with Ry Cooder for “A Meeting by the River”). He also received the gift of Bhatt’s custom-made, self-designed Mohan veena — a 20-stringed sitar/guitar — that was the catalyst for Manx to forge a new path.

Check out more about Manx, including songs from his latest CD, “Bread and Buddha,” at www.harrymanx.com.

The evening’s business partner is Whidbey Island Bank. Tickets are $25 for adults, $12 for student reserved, with $5 student RUSH one hour before the show, if there are still seats available.

The Box Office is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.sjctheatre.org.

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