miércoles, 28 de julio de 2010


BETI BIZI is Kepa Junkera´s new project accompanied by Xabier Amuriza and the female voices of the choir KANTIKA.

On Monday an interview was recorded for the cultural program of the Public Basque Television (EiTB) "EiTB Kultura" with Kepa Junkera and Xabier Amuriza, writer / bertsolari (improviser of oral verses) explaining all the details of this new album BETI BIZI.

Also in the interview we could count on the participation of the girls from the choir "LEIOA KANTIKA KORALA" who joined in with the accordion music of Kepa Junkera and the voice of Xabier Amuriza interpreting several songs of the album.

The program was recorded in a unique setting such as the Nature Interpretation Center Tower Madariaga located in one of the most privileged spots of the natural park of Urdaiba, in Busturia.

It is believed that the interview will be showed on the 17th of August in ETB 2, in Spanish while the 19th of August it will broadcast in ETB 1 in Euskera, the basque language.


miércoles, 7 de julio de 2010

The magician of the "trikitixa"

Published by Dani Chicano on July 6, 2010: www.avui.elpunt.cat
Foto de Lluis Serrat

After the concert on Friday night on the steps of Girona´s Cathedral, which Kepa Junkera offered, talking to with Miquel Basin, what is that you always enrich the conversation, a scholar in the field of music, and especially the has been called world music, in which in the traditional Catalan music that would be extremely well a figure that was the equivalent to Kepa Junkera in traditional Basque music. Junkera has achieved, among other things, which the trikitixa, Basque diatonic accordion linked to popular music and with a liberating function ceases to be a reviled instrument, frowned upon even by religious and social issues, usually related to rural and little academic places. The trikitilari from Rekalde understood that to maintain the tradition it needs to evolve, it must be renewed by applying a creative spirit. Shield against any alteration, to repeat over and above what can only be reliably lead to the disappearance or the relegation to the status of anthropological oddity. Junkera has recovered the trikitixa, but also the traditional Basque folk music and has adapted to the times, repeating this operation with the txalaparta and alboka, traditional Basque percussion and wind instruments, respectively, which together with the sound of trikitixa are the hallmark of Kepa Junkera and his group of excellent musicians. In Catalonia there are commendable efforts, such as Jordi Molina with the tenor, Artur Blasco (El Pont d'Arcalís), also accordionist with a long history and a lot of work of recovery behind his back, but none of the size, versatility and the international projection of Kepa Junkera, comparable to what has been done with the Galician gaita by Carlos Nunez, for instance. Just as Núñez and gaita (bagpipes), Junkera breathe the same rhythm as his instrument, which has an absolute dominance, spectacular, which allows him to play at a high speed without losing a single note, with vivid clarity. The symbiosis, perfect, allows to modular the speech to Kepa Junkera´s convenience, qualify it, to excite the public, who finished surrendered to him.

At the concert in Girona, Junkera, was accompanied by Iñigo Olazabal (Txalaparta, albota and percussions), Argibel Euba (txalaparta and percussions), Roberto Caballero (bass), José Luis Canal (piano) and José Ángel Telleria (drums). The majority of the songs played were from his album HIRI (2006)- Hiri, Kokkola, Buenos Aires, Reno, Agadir, Tatihou, Ataun and Napoli- in which Junkera, being an interpreter and composer, he was inspired by many cities of the world. The rest of the themes are from his album Bilbao 00:00 – (Bok Espok, Gaztelugatxeko) Maren -(Kaixarranka, Peliqueiroak terranovan) and Leon Orroeak (Zrkinipez)


The sound of natural born innovators

A new step forward of the trikitixa

Amuriza, Leioa Kantika Junkera Koral and joining tradition and modernity in assigning "surprising"

Published by Ander Egiluz Beramendi for DEIA on July 4, 2010

Betibizi. Immortelle. It is the flower that is placed on the lapel of the dancers, and is the title of the new album with the signature of Xabier Amuriza, Leioa Kantika Koral, along with the inexhaustible Kepa Junkera. "The title has a double meaning," says the bertsolari of Etxano-“On one side is a direct reference to the flower of the dancers, a tribute to them all, and secondly the demand for the dance, of its vitality and eternity”.
The album, published by Hiri Records, has great coral presence, also having the trikitixa of Junkera and with the foundations on ancient ballad Biscayan´songs and classical melodies of dance that Amuriza has collected and sorted. But it does not sound as expected. The CD, shocks you, a lot. "People may be surprised," the musician of Rekalde sincerely says. "It's an album to enjoy listening to in a hi-fi system". And if anything characterizes the large group that has join together in this project- so many names that always one is always left behind, is the obsession for a work well done. "I've been very careful with this recording because I know how Xabier works and the time he has spent on its and I wanted to be at the height of the circumstances," says the trikitilari.

With a copy in his hand, Amuriza laughs from the little that the CD holds in comparison with the books in which, ten years ago, recovered the verses. "So much work and so little presence," jokes the two of them, with a very good reason: the first steps of the project were taken "almost nine years ago!”, exclaims Junkera.

The label market situation also is not at all buoyant and explains the musician, "it will become increasingly more difficult to make records like this, many years of work." But creativity can not stop on breaking down barriers.


Beyond the triki and tambourine

What is most striking in the first electronic sounds heard that the artist used for this. The album is the second part of a project that Amriza began more than a decade, with the recording Bizkaiko kopla zaharrak, in which Tapia ta Leturia participated. On that occasion the result was more classic, "The Sound of lifelong triki with melodies and lyrics together forever," says Xavier. But for this second part I wanted to change the recording -there fits the idea of mixing dance tunes with other types of ballads-, and who became his traveling companion, Kepa Junkera, also soughing new atmospheres. "It has always caught my attention to play differently," honestly speaking Junkera. "Not always playing the triki with the tambourine."

The “hunger and appetite” got together, two natural born innovators, ground-breakers, each in his personal field. Xabier revolutionized improvisation by showing that it was not a privilege of gifted persons and Kepa did the same to bring trikitixa to dispute in the market, and often to pull it off, with the mass of radio pop formulas. On their innovative impulses Amuriza believes that "we must be daring." "Also, at that moment you do not realize the impact of those changes retrospectively. Perhaps we are looking too far into the future ...”

Kepa Junkera, despite of always seek new ways for that “infernal bellows” -like he called the triki in his first album, "it´s still thrilling ,in a special way, to hear the sounds of the most classic trikitixa: “Fasi, Epelde, Leon Bilbao... were persons with a special charisma and when I hear those sounds something stirs up inside of me." But this time, in addition to the innovations proposed by Xabier and the electronic bases, the guy of Rekalde "I wanted to do new things with the choir." And that's where Astulez Basilio comes in, the director of Leioa Kantika Koral, "a man who does an awesome job," according to Junkera. He was a great challenge for a choir because, for one, it meant to record separately and in one same microphone the alto, bass ... But the final result has been impeccable. "It's exciting to see a group of girls so young and so serious liking to do new things," says Junkera.

This type of projects "stimulate the imagination and inspiration and making you enjoy it," says rekaldetarra (a person born in the Rekalde) proudly looking at the CD. "And that is important," he adds. Both artists agreed that sentimentally finishing the job "it´s a pride." To which Kepa adds that Betibizi "it´s an album that gives us fresh air." New and innovative. Something about what Amuriza reconsiders in the preface of the album: "The effect has been fascinating." It will cushion the effect for the conversion of novelty in practice?” Not so. May it continue to open new paths, even if the circumstances appear to be adverse. A great album.


domingo, 4 de julio de 2010

BETI BIZI now on sale!!!

Kepa Junkera´s new release BETI BIZI is now on sale.

The album presented under the seal HIRI RECORDS is the latest work of the musician of Rekalde (a neighborhood of Bilbao) for the moment, with the collaboration of the writer and “bertsolari” (Basque improviser singer) Xabier Amuriza and the voices of the choir LEIOA KANTIKA KORALA.

A different and innovative album with that special touch of Kepa Music seals the unmistakable style of this project. A brave, energetic album that brings together our past with our present, in an elegant proposal without complexes, a CD that will surprise everyone who listens.

BETI BIZI on sale and also in Internet, for more information “CLICK HERE”