viernes, 9 de abril de 2010

The book "La tierra de Mil Tonás" by Maxi de la Peña

Kepa Junkera collaborated being interviewed and writing the preface for Maxi de la Peña´s book; “La tierra de Mil Tonás”.

Here is more information about the book published by the daily journal “El Diario Montañes” translated:


“Folklore is the musical expression array of the people’s culture for excellence. It represents the cycles of life, the work with the land, and the feast after the harvest.” This reflection made by the Portuguese singer and songwriter Dulce Pontes is one of the preface of the book “La tierra de Mil Tonás” written by the journalist of the “El Diario Montañes” native of the city of Santander, Maxi de la Peña. The new novel will be presented Thursday at 8:00pm at the Ateneo, a ceremony in which will assist, among the proper author, the journalist and student of traditional culture of Cantabria, Jesus Garcia Preciado.

The Portuguese artist Dulce Pontes, who will release her new album in a couple of day, prefaces the book written together with five other renowned musicians: Kepa Junkera, Uxía, Luis Delgado, Ana Alcaide and Paco Díez. Also, the director of the Culture section of this newspaper, Guillermo Balbona, gives us a journalistic profile of the work. The book just published b the editorial “Librucos” and distributed by 'Cantabria Tradicional Distribución' collects 51 interviews conducted between 2008 and 2009 in the “El Diario Montañes”.

jueves, 8 de abril de 2010


Kepa Junkera has been interviewed by Andrés Portero of the Basque newspaper DEIA and published his interview this Monday, April 5, 2010.

Here we publish the full interview translated to English for all of Kepa Junkera´s fans:

Junkera has released “Habana Sessions” recorded in Cuba with pianist Rolando Luna. In this album, Junkera´s triki takes a musical and physical stroll along the Malecón, this is the second part of Fandango, the trilogy in which he intends to “revisit” his career.

How and why did you propose the review of your discography?

Instead of the typical CD compilation it occurred to me to get into a new fresh project that I named Fandango. I thought: Why not choose the themes that the public most asks me in my concerts to play and give them a new turn around. I wanted to come up with different sounds and present my music in another register. The first disc, “Provença Sessions” I recorded with the quartet of mandolins, Melonious Quartet. Now “Habana Session is published with Rolando Luna.

They do like alike, a little, right?

Luna is perhaps the opposite polar in conception. With Melonious everything was well planned, but with Rolando it has been much more improvised, trying to save the freedom of the meeting of two musicians with different styles, almost as if it were a live concert. In both of these proposals I have sought the work in small formats without major effects. The instrument and the music are the true protagonists.

It is known your passion for Africa, Ireland, Central European folk but not so much about Cuban music.

I feel passionate about any music that excites me. All colonial music has interested me much because it brings together many different scents. I´m very interested in their textures and mixtures and their subsequent evolution in time.

Why did you choose Rolando Luna?

In one of my rips a friend on mine introduced him to me. After I invited him to collaborate in a concert and so on began our friendship.

What would you highlight about him?

That he is young and very generous, musically speaking. It’s amazing the huge talent that he has both rhythmic and harmonic. I like also the number of styles that he condenses in his interpretation from improvisation of jazz to classical music, contemporary, Cuban music……

Have you dreamed about surrounding your trikitixa with a piano?

Yes, it’s one of the instruments that I’m most passionate about, I even compose on it. I like its depth and what its gives me.

Combining rhythm and melody…

This is one of Rolando’s strong features, besides his concept of harmony and his fabulous introduction and improvisation that he makes. Also I have to highlight the rhythm section. We’re not going to discover now the polyrhythm’s that are made by these musicians and their culture.

This and the shared album with Julio Pereira, could be the most naked discography?

The trimmings, “clothing” you put in an album is not as important as is the intention. In the album “Lau Eskutara” I learned a lot. Sometimes one gets the wrong idea that the more “clothed” the more secure you will feel. It doesn’t have to be that way. From time to time it is very exciting to face a musical nudity. Throughout my career the list of collaborations both in records and is live concerts is huge but I also like to make things more intimate, as in this case. Who knows, in the future I just might do a solo.

How did you choose the repertoire? Some themes are repeated on the “Provença Sessions”.

These are the songs that are best suited for the CD. Here they are much slower than the previous one because they are compositions that are so strong that I needed to combine them with other themes more peaceful. It doesn’t bother me to repeat.

Musically component ranges from jazz and a trip to the sounds of Afro-Latino rhythms.

It is, but it came out with even us knowing it. I too was surprised by the result: It is a special work and, above all, intimate and personal. Rolando has a lot to do with that.

Recorded in Havana, how were the journey and the process?

Havana is a special place, a place with lots of colors, shades and scents. I have travelled there several times and I know people that have taken me, bring me and teach me….I’ve been fortunate to discover other colors and other aspects to the already know by others. It is a city that leaves no one indifferent. I remember recording with nostalgia.

Recorded where?

We recorded in Abdullah’s studios, along with my friend Orestes, a sound technician during 3 days. The day before, Rolando and I got together to look at the themes for the recording, the songs were sent by email months ago. We recorded the themes in the studio as if it was a live performance, with all its magic.

What do you think about the controversy over artists’ visit’s to Cuba?

I do not understand this controversy, less when music is the point. We must seize the high binding capacity and complicity of music to overcome contentious and complex.

Would you have participated?

Artists must have the freedom to play anywhere. Cultural exchange has always been one of the motives of our society and I can not understand why it has to mix music and culture with other things that have nothing to do with this.