Ten questions for Harry Manx (by N. Romero)
#1 How did the World Affairs band come together?
The World Affairs Band was put together in 2012 for a performance at the Maison Symphonic during the Montreal Jazz Festival. The festival had presented my solo show a number of times and they were looking to have me with a band. I suggested a mix of musicians with different cultural backgrounds and the idea was born for World Affairs.
#2 Who are the musicians and what kind of music is this?
The music of World Affairs is representative of the individual artists and the different paths they’ve travelled. Yeshe grew up in Europe but learned most of his instruments during his time spent in Africa. He now lives in Australia. Kiran Alhawalia grew up in Canada of Indian descent. She has studied Indian Classical vocal music with the her teacher in India. She now lives in New York City. Clayton Doley is Australian. He’s well known in Australia as the leading Hammond B3 Organ player. His music is a mixture of R&B, soul, jazz and rock.
#3 Who is Harry Manx ?
Well that’s a difficult question because I’m still finding out.(laughs) I expect that will take a long time. But musically speaking I am a Blues Musician and a performer of Indian Classical music. I love both those styles of music and I try to bring them together in my original songs.
#4 Why did you start mixing Blues with Indian Music?
I worked in Blues clubs in Toronto during the 70’s and I came to learn and love Blues. Later I lived in India 12 years and studied music. Naturally the two styles got to know each other inside my head and my hands started to mix the two together. It’s an ongoing learning process.
#5 Are you surprised that your music has reached so many people?
Yes, I’ve never taken my success for granted. After having been a street musician (in EU and Japan) for so many years, I now find that every show is a gift and I appreciate the opportunity. I don’t get rained on anymore (laughter)
#6 Where are you touring this show?
The tour in Feb/March of this year will be mostly in Quebec and Ontario. Later in the year we will go to Australia and Europe.
#7 What is your latest CD?
The latest CD released on Feb 13, 2013 is called “Om Suite Ohm”. It features mostly original songs with the members of World Affairs. I also have added a cover version of a song by jazz giant John Coltrane (A Love Supreme). The CD is available in stores and online. Guitar Player magazine said about the new CD “Canadian “roots-raga” lap-slide guitarist Harry Manx’s ninth album presents his most fully realized work to date. His playing is joyous,poignant, and earthy… acomplemented beautifully by his warm, emotive voice.”
#8 What can people expect at a HM show?
We will be performing music that has elements of Indian, African, Blues and Soul. World Affairs is the sum of all our individual musical experiences and from that we have created our own original style. We will showcase a wide variety of instruments.
#9 Where are your favourite places to tour?
Canada and Australia. One place is very cold , the other very hot, but both places are beautiful and supportive of my unique style of music.
#10 What do you think about Canadian winters?
I spent much of my life in warm climates, but after 12 years here in Canada I’m starting to see winter as a very “Canadian” thing and I don’t mind it at all. Give me a hot chocolate and a pair of skates and I’m good.