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Kelowna holds a spot in musician’s heart

Sunday, September 27th, 2009 | 6:00 am

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<p>Harry Manx will be performing at the Mary Irwin Theatre Oct. 1. (Photo contributed)</p>

Harry Manx will be performing at the Mary Irwin Theatre Oct. 1. (Photo contributed)

By Holly Miyasaki

The Okanagan holds some special memories for Harry Manx.

The musician, known for his work mixing Indian music with classical and blues, spent a summer as a teenager in West Kelowna picking apples.

“It was a great thing,” reflects Manx, who will be performing in Kelowna. “It slowed me down for a few months so I could appreciate that whole area.”

Manx eventually ended up in India where he lived for 12 years, studying a mixture of guitar and sitar.

“I’ve been playing a long time,” he says. “I stumbled on this particular mixture of musical styles and it seems to have some attraction to quite a few people.”

Manx was born in the Isle of Man but spent his childhood in Canada before departing for Europe, Japan India and Brazil. In the mid-’80s he began five years of training with Grammy award-winning Rajasthani Indian musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

Bhatt also gave him a custom-made Mohan veena, which is a 20-string guitar-sitar. He’s used this instrument, along with lap steel, harmonica and banjo in his unique brand of music, which he has toured extensively.

He has been given numerous Maple Blues awards and nominations, Juno award nominations and other recognition.

Earlier this month Manx released Bread and Buddha, which is his ninth release, which was produced with the help of Juno-award winning engineer John “Beetle” Bailey.

Harry Manx performs Oct. 1 at the Mary Irwin Theatre in the Rotary Centre for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from

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