domingo, 1 de mayo de 2011

"HERRIA" Awarded as Best Folk Album !

The Music Awards for Delorean and Bide Ertzean

April 29, 2011

Published by EitbKultura

KEPA JUNKERA, ANGEL ILLARRAMENI AND ALBERTO IGLESIAS will also receive their awards at the ceremony that will be held next May 18 in Madrid.

Numerous Basque artists will be awarded at the XV edition of the Music Award that organizes The Academy of Music´s Art and Science. This morning they have announced the complete list of winners of bands and musicians that we can find: t Delorean, Bide Ertzean, Kepa Junkera, Alberto Iglesias and Angel Illarramendi find. The awards will be given next May 18 in Madrid.

Delorean keeps on harvesting big successes thanks to their last studio album “Subiza”, like the song “Stay Close” has been rewarded in the category of Best Theme in Electronic Music.

The group from Tolosa, Bide Ertzean has also been rewarded and receives a merited recognition based on big pop songs. Their song "Don Inorrez" has been rewarded in the category of Best Song in Euskera.

Kepa Junkera will receive the reward for Best Album of Folk Music for his work "HERRIA" and Angel Illaramendi will have his award in the category of Classical Music, Best Author for 3rd Symphony.

In the category of Best Sound Track Film Album is for Alberto Iglesias for the music of the movie “It also rains.”

The Best Musical Video has gone to “Tarde o Temprano” carried out by Rafa Sañuedo and interpreted by Fito and Fitipaldis.

In addition, Rosendo willl be awarded for Best Album thanks to “A veces cuesta llegar al estribillo”. Joan Manuel Serrat will receive the Award for Best Song of the Year “Hijo de la luz y de la sombre”.

The deceased Flamenco singer Enrique Morente has achieved the award for Best Flamenco Album “Morente + flamenco”.

Among the award-winning musicians La Shica, M Clan, Macaco, Kiko Veneno, Los Planetas, Mala Rodríguez, Pastora Soler, Chano Domínguez, and others….

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lunes, 24 de enero de 2011

Published Date: 23 January 2011

KEPA Junkera is a great ambassador for the Basque country, and his concerts rarely disappoint. His trikitixa music, played on a variety of diatonic accordions, is accompanied by his inspiring band which includes the attractive sound of the txalaparta, a wooden xylophone-like instrument struck by a duo armed with rounded sticks.

Junkera often has a surprise up his sleeve and this time it was Leioa Kantika Korala, 15 young women led by Basilio Astulez. Their vocal harmonies were enhanced by choreographed moves whose sensual fluidity, visually enhanced by the sway of their multicoloured silken harem pants, added a captivating visual dimension.

However, having transformed the music of Basque mountain shepherds into something alluringly feel-good, Junkera makes no attempt to tell us what we're listening to. It was a tad frustrating to have a sequence of a dozen songs sung in Europe's most esoteric language with no explanation from the stage as to their subject and no good old-fashioned programme to inform us.

These imaginative settings of ancient ballads of the Bay of Biscay, collected by improvising bertsolari poet Xabier Amuriza, use beautiful melodies and in novel style several involve recorded fragments of Mongolian throat-singing. While the meaning remains a mystery, the overall effect was joyfully bucolic, as the women's clear, light voices wove glittering tapestries of sound. Crowned by Junkera's rapid-fire playing and his band's witty use of stamping tubes and an electrified cow's horn, this was a uplifting night defined by intriguing innovation.

lunes, 17 de enero de 2011

The city of Bermeo will hold tonight the first direct concert of the proyect "BetiBizi" with Junkera and Amuriza.

The choirs of Bermeo and Leioa Kantika will also perform in tonight´s concert in favor of the town´s ikastola.

Published in DEIA by Ander Egiluz Beramendi
January 15, 2010

Bilbao. The Ikastola Eleizalde of Bermeo was left out of a concert by Kepa Junkera at the Ibiladi; Not for lack of interest of the trikitilari of Rekalde, but because his agenda was making him travel every day to one outermost point of the orb, in the period in which he found himself absorbed in the finalization of the macro project Etxea, Kalea, Herria. However, such and as the persons in charge of the ikastola explained, he promised to attend the fishing locality with an important project. The word of an artist or simply, Junkera's word. This very day, in the evening doorstep, at 20:00 o'clock Junkera and a long cast of collaborators will give the beginning tour of BetiBizi. A tour that will allow listening to euskaldunes´sounds no more than less in the prestigious Glasglow Celtic Connections among other destinies.

"It will be a special, different concert", tell us yesterday the bertsolari and writer Xabier Amuriza, the evening before the spectacle in which he will also participate. And, it is that, all the lyrics sung in the record BetiBizi are ancient ballads compiled in the course of the years by the “etxanotarra”. An arduous job that they added on to them to make suitable those verses to "sounds and melodies fixed for dance", that Amuriza explained to us.

It´s been a long time that Amuriza did not present himself in front of such a massive public, since the bertsosaios in which he shows up often are, principally, in less repercussion's squares. "But this is our project and I want to be there," saying. The Frontón Artza, with its 890 localities - still have available seats and the ticket offices of the enclosure will open at 18,30 o'clock - -, it will be the stage of a spectacle that will have Kepa Junkera and his habitual band, the juvenile chorus Leioa Kantika Korala, in charge of recording the voices of the record and with great experience in foreign countries, the Coral of Bermeo and Xabier Amuriza, that he will delight with bertsos, will present the act and will join togther the corals in the two last songs of the concert . "Being a concert in favor of the ikastola of Bermeo it is totally understanding that the coral of the locality wants to participate”, Amuriza tells us. To what he added on , "and for that, at the end of the concert we will sing several songs typical of Bermeo" And those melodies most probable are Joxe Miguelen batela and Egia da, egia da, both recovered by the proper Junkera in his habitual repertoire. Although Gaztaina koloreko, belonging to the album and in which Amuriza puts voice, has a good chance.

Innovative spectacle Even Though it is true that the concert will focus on the presentation of BetiBizi, such and as Amuriza advanced, the direct will count with five moments: Two of them in which Kepa and his band will warm up the Artza's environment; Other ones two with more harmonious, by the hand of Leioa Kantika Korala, directed, as it is habitual, for Basilio Astulez-, and with Junkera as a solo performer. Ending with a strong finale in which all the all-comers of the concert will sing the classical melodies “bermeanas”.

“I am very excited - Amuriza sincerely talking-; the ballads sung by the young girls and with the style of Kepa, in a place like Bermeo ". A beginning of a stylish tour and with a terrific ending.

lunes, 20 de diciembre de 2010

Kepa Junkera will present BETI BIZI at the prestigious Celtic Connections in Glasgow.

Event Details
Kepa Junkera and Friends

Thursday 20th January 2011, 7.30pm

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall : Main Auditorium

Ever since Basque accordionist Kepa Junkera’s revelatory UK debut at Celtic Connections 1999, he’s had a bit of a mutual love-affair with Glasgow, even once the rest of the world caught on to his intrepid, inspirational virtuosity. Simultaneously with revitalising the rich heritage of the trikitixa – the Basque diatonic accordion – among other native traditions, Junkera is a tirelessly globe-trotting, genre-blind collaborator, whose string of acclaimed albums has seen him working with literally hundreds of international artists. Above all, though, he’s an electrifying, unforgettable live performer, and we’re delighted to welcome him back, together with his full band and several extra special guests, including the young female choir Leioa Kantika Korala, as featured on his newest recording project Beti Bizi.

Published in the website:

miércoles, 24 de noviembre de 2010

I seek to open the Basque songs to the World

Published in DEIA by Andrés Portero

Kepa Junkera presented yesterday Herria, a record that concludes the trilogy of euskaldun music recorded next to musicians of other countries that started with Etxea and followed by Kalea, so that it can be internationally known the songs of the Basques, mainly in the Diaspora.

Bilbao. The Basque musician puts an end to the trilogy after collaborating with 130 artists of more than thirty different countries, from Estrella Morente to Teresa Salgueiro, Juanes, Aute, Calamaro, Lila Downs or Leo Gieco. In Herria he is in the company of musicians like Glen Vélez, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Justin Vali or Dave Douglas, distinguished musicians that he adds Boise's choruses, of gospel or of the American Indians, to sing and play to songs as Boga boga, Hator hator, Egun da Santi Mamiña, Ene izar maitea, Eperrak or Agur Xiberua. "When it’s upon creating I am ambitious" Kepa Junkera explains to us in this interview. "I wanted to share our inheritance with the most possible people, to open it to the world," he adds on.

Satisfied or exhausted?

I am calm. I remember when I designed the project in a notebook and the energy that I had then. Now it´s no longer the same, obvious.

Now would you think in getting yourself in this intensive project?

I don't know. Definitely I have asked myself, where did I get myself into. Over all because I had the sensation that the project was unembraceable, that there were many things left behind. The fact is that I know a lot of musicians and, besides, a lot of doors have been opened unto me. Regardless of everything, I look at the result and I feel satisfied. I’m sure that I would do it again.

The numbers overwhelm.

Yes. In Herria 130 artists of 28 different countries have participated. The total of the three records have been; 155 singers, 128 musicians, 17 producers, 53 technicians, 38 recording studios, I have visited 49 countries, worked with 15 photographers and 3 cameramen... At the end, I have recorded 74 songs. I am very happy because eclectic people have collaborated, more or less known.

The most sluggish work would be closing the agenda of so many musicians and the country.

Right, the most tiresome is always the work of coordination and infrastructure. It is sending an e-mail to the people, the translated song, to close hotels and the days of the recording studios to record in other countries ... That, that is not a part of the creative process, takes a lot of energy away but at the same time your so happy seeing how the people have responded to your email.

For Herria you have visited New York, Casablanca, Athens, Boise, Paris, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Istanbul...

In the American part, Istanbul and Athens I had more time then when I’m going to perform. We were allowed more time, recording during the week and making the calendar the way we like it, placing the pieces of the puzzle.

The record and the whole trilogy project surpass ambition.

I am an ambitious musician when it is a matter of creating. I have never been afraid of the projects, yes in respect to share them. However, it was a help for me to be surrounded by a good team that has always backed me up. I have felt strong. Also it is true that there are several types of ambition. In the beginning, for example, there is like a need, a desire of learning and feeling. After that you think about creating, to go further on than just to be a musician, of the composition and the interpretation, and to be producer, to dream up new stadiums and to construct them. That is a privilege.

Do you feel yourself more than a trikitilari?

I like it when they call me "trikitilari" (trikitilari is a basque word meaning the person who plays the diatonic accordion) it means that at last they have admitted me in the club of the trikis. (laughing)

It was hard work, wasn’t it?

I am so proud to have known that traditional world and being part of them. The only thing I can do is to thankful to all of them because I still admire Fasio, Laja, Sakabi, Tapia ... Then I felt the need to do different things ,now knowing another musical dimension. There are people that relate me with the folk music, others with my most global projects ... I have the sensation of not being able to show all that I am that always something stays behind.

You’re talking about learning, right?

Yes, and always in a humble and curiosity way. We have to have our eyes wide open because there is very creative and talented persons out there that frightens you when you meet. These projects have made me have a much more positive vision of the people and to canalize my energy in a creative way.

What role does Herria in the trilogy have?

It is the last leg, the one that closes this project. I like very much the three titles: Etxea, Kalea and Herria. House, street, town ... We decided these titles, the designers that I work in Madrid and me from the sketches that I presented them. I like to take part inside the world of design and the album’s esthetics and in the videos. I’m always trying to contribute because they do know more, but you have a complementary vision that just might work.

In "Etxea" you talked about an invitation to our house- metaphor of the Basque Country, of your song book and culture - to other people.

Definitely, but the idea is simpler than all of that. It was recording euskaldunes songs that I like and sharing them with musicians that I admire from other countries and places. Mainly, what I look for is the people of the Basque Diaspora who listen to those songs that they learned in there time interpreted by people of their country of adoption. Next you can add literature to them, as Saramago wrote before and now, in Herria, Bernardo Atxaga.

In this last record arises a tremendous curiosity, like the participation of the American Indians.

Yes, they belong to several tribes: Cherokees, Navahos and Cheyenne’s. I have made them sing side by side with the descendants of the Basque shepherds, people of California, Nevada and Idaho.

How did you choose between so many collaborators and so many cities?

I decided on the people that I admire, well known as Glen Vélez, greek Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Justin Vali, Dave Douglas ... and other unknown. And I took notice of the cities that I could see as open doors, for example, Casablanca toward Africa or Istanbul toward Orient. Also I chose Paris and New York, where you can find every type of musicians, of Hawaii, of Philippines, of Pakistan, of Armenia, Iran...

Once you told me that you were scared of collaborating with singers when being yourself an instrumental musician.

At the beginning it was a respectable and ignorance issue. I am the producer, back to back with other musicians, and I am with them when they sing. At the end, I decide and the voice gives me so much respect. They all have helped me so much and have given everything, without divisions. The voice is an incredible instrument.

Speaking about the sound, Herria is the most exotic album out of three, right?

Yes, it has many curious things. We have blues, jazz, gospel, folk of different latitudes ... With the Indians I chose the option of leaving it very tribal. With Douglas I chose the improvisation, in order to
give freedom to the musicians. I look for what they could contribute with their vision to my previous ideas. I have heard these songs before recording them.

The final result come closer to the one you have listened to in your imagination?

In some cases it has surprised me. Like Hator hator that is recorded with a Louisiana's gospel choir. It’s difficult to talk about the songs, you have to hear them. What's curious about the project is that I can feel that there is a main strong thread between the three albums in spite of being so different the participating interpreters.

Has the trilogy been better accepted outside than in the Basque Country?

I don't know! I am used to people that has always encouraged me and others that has criticized me. I listen to the whole world, but I follow my road trying to be humble and tolerant. I try to understand the criticism, it is not right to think that what one has in mind is correct.

I can imagine that the dispute with the subvention worth millions that you received from Basque Government is the worst moment of this project.

It’s a part of it. At the end, you hold on to the good things although definitely it was a difficult circumstance. And I assume it. I do not know if they are going to be able to understand the project now that it has been concluded. There will be people that will not listen to it, but I am optimistic. The bad moments are also a part of one.

And they inure.

Absolutely. I have never had it easy. I am self-educated and I got involved in a world, the one of the triki, in which I did not give out the stereotype, from being of city, giving me a lot of detractors. And with this project the same thing. I seek to make a contribution and to share this legacy of our inheritance with all the people possible. I wanted to open it with the world. And I have felt myself with a lot of strength, what I have demonstrated to myself is that I come from Rekalde. It is a pride to be from a neighborhood, inures in the challenges.

domingo, 21 de noviembre de 2010

Kepa´s boundary-free world

FOR Kepa Junkera, frontiers do no exist, neither physicial nor mental. He has demonstrated it again in his last album, Herria. In order to record it he has travelled thousands of kilometres’ and sailed to several continents in search of interpreters and instruments that would put voice and music to the Basque folk songs. With Herria, Rekalde's trikitilari closes in a brilliant way the trilogy that started 2008 with Etxea and followed by the next year with Kalea. In total more than 70 songs, 49 countries, 128 musicians and 155 singers. An overwhelmed number of participants that reveal the great effort accomplished during two long years for Kepa Junkera´s team. A team that yesterday was with him during the presentation of his new record, presented on stage of the remodelled Campos Elíseos.

Behind the scenes, in order to go by unnoticed, and as if it had nothing to deal with them, was Aitor Narbaiza, Santi Yaniz, Bea Etxebeste, Kirmen Goikuria, among others. To all of them and too many more, Kepa Junkera wanted to thank their support that they offered him to be able to accomplish the project Herria. And also to a very special person, his wife, Miren Goikuria, who he mentioned filled with emotion of a man that has a special sensibility. The same feeling that impregnated his projects since he stepped on stage with a trikitixa at the town’s pilgrimages.

Kepa embarked with this project, in which he feels "very proud", guided by a main principal: "To keep sharing euskera and our culture with people all over the world". First came Etxea with state singers and musicians like Miguel Bosé, Loquillo, Estrella Morente or María del Mar Bonet. In Kalea he crossed the ocean, heading to the lands of South America, just as our forefathers did. And in Herria, the most travelling work of the three has left room for artists of so many awkward places as Boise, Istanbul or Hawaii. Yesterday, in the presentation, the majority of 130 musicians that they have collaborated with him Herria could not be there, but nourished representations of Biscayan society were there. Because if what Kepa has are friends. They refused to lose the presentation like the mythical sportmen, José Ángel Iribar and Dani, that next to the executive Fermín Palomar they represented the Athletic. Also we found Marino Lejarreta, Xabier Jon Davalillo, Eduardo Castañeda, Carmelo Mendía, Marino Montero, Kike Santarén, José Ramón Epelde, Bingen Zupiria, Ktoño Frade, Beatriz Marcos, José Angel Pereda, Jesús Garitaonandía, Amaia Basterretxea, Julio Alegría, Iñaki Astigarraga, Mikel Bilbao, María Loizaga, Ignacio Casado, Andoni Olivares, Andoni Ortuzar, Beatriz Marcos, José María Amantes, Enrique Thate, Xabier Basañez, Juan Cid, Juan Carlos Belmonte who didn´t want to miss this day. And master of ceremonies, Isidro Elezgarai that would be why Caja Laboral (Basque Bank) has support Kepa in this musical boundary-free adventure.

By José Basurto ( DEIA )
Published in the newspaper DEIA

miércoles, 17 de noviembre de 2010

Junkera culminates his trilogy opening the Basque music to non-latin rhythms.

Published in the newspaper ABC
16-11-2010 / 14:10 h

Published in the newspaper ABC
16-11-2010 / 14:10 h

Bilbao, NOV 16 ( EFE).- The trikitilari (a basque word meaning the person who plays the diatonic accordion) Kepa Junkera has culminated his trilogy of folksongs in Euskera (the Basque Language) interpreted by musicians and singers outside of the Basque Country with the album, Herria (Town), in which the interpreters come from Non-Latin musical cultures.

This project started off in 2008 with Etxea (House), in which Junkera surrounded himself with musicians of the Caribbean and Iberian Peninsula and were sung in euskera; Miguel Bosé, Ana Belén, Loquillo, Jaime Urrutia, Santiago Auserón, María del Mar Bonet, Estrella Morente, Michel Camilo and Dulce Pontes are some of the voices that took part in that first record.

In Kalea (Street), the Latin Americans were the ones that interpreted and sang the Basque song: Juanes, Lito Vitale, Viticus, Pablo Milanés, Julieta Venegas ...

Now, this project closes with "HERRIA" in which "the collaborators” from countries like United States, Madagascar, Greece and Korea are musicians in the area of folk music.

“The sounds are a slight different with new instruments", Junkera has said in the presentation of his new album in Bilbao.

“HERRIA” includes 23 songs recorded in Paris, Istanbul and Casablanca and in the North American cities of New York, San Francisco, St. Antonio, Los Angeles, Oakland, Boise and Hawaii.

The album reflects the cities´ music’s of where it was recorded, so that the Basque songs appears with different versions as the rhythms of the Indian tribes, tex mex , with the musicians of Flaco Jiménez, jazz of New York by the hand of Dave Douglas’s quartet, gospel or the sound of the lyre, the ukulele or the wind instruments of Armenia and Turkey.

Junkera has explained that in the album "truly talented" musicians have worked with him although the names may not be all grandiloquent like the ones in the first two albums, especially because, "the Anglo-Saxon world is much more unknown to us".

The trikitixa's interpreter has highlighted that in the three albums the participating musicians have had the freedom to make of Basque folksongs "theirs" with "no limitations", although "the main thread is the strength of the Basque songs" and Euskera. Junkera has thanked the writers José Saramago, who passed away last June, Bernardo Atxaga and Xabier Aumuriza for the prefaces that they made for these records.

Junkera has recognized that the most difficult one was making the first of the three albums, mainly because until then he was accustomed to collaborate with other instrumentalists and not with singers, but he has said that, once "Etxea" was recorded, the whole project remained established the "philosophy and the work dynamics"

I am very proud of what I have achieved and all the people that has helped me out, the balance of the whole project is "very very positive", Kepa has said before thanking the writers José Saramago, who passed away last June, Bernardo Atxaga and Xabier Amuriza who wrote the prefaces for these records.

Kepa Junkera, that will now dedicate himself to the promotion of "HERRIA" till the end of the year to discuss new projects for 2011. He has pointed out that is would be "very pretty" to give a "grand finale" concert with the musicians and singers of the three albums, explaining that it is "very complicated" to organize it.
EFE maf/em.