In Boise, Idaho, Txantxangorriak, a troup of young folk musicians gets back into full swing after summer vacation
Two Txantxangorriak pandereta players take center stage with their instructor Sean Aucutt (Photos Courtesy Txantxangorriak)
Its a group that has put smiles on the faces of fans young and old. To watch a group solely made up of musicians, including children and adults play traditional Basque music on traditional Basque instruments, isnt something many expected to see outside the Basque Country. But the collaborative vision of some inspired Boise Euzkaldunak members made it happened. Today Txantxangorriak has grown to become a cherished part of Boises Basque Community.Boise Basques have been known for their dancing throughout the United States and even the international arena. So, when a young group of musicians from Euskadi, Txorimaloak Soinu Taldea, came to Idaho for Jaialdi 2000, it caught the festival committees eye.
Not long after Txantxangorriak emerged. With the help of Euzkaldunak, Inc. eight button accordions were purchased, and in the first year seven triki players took lessons. Accompanying them were six pandereta students. Each year the group grows in numbers. Five of the original members have recently purchased their own trikis from Euskadi.
[Trikitrixa players entertain the crowd at Boise's San Inazio Basque Festival. The group is performing on the Basque Block (Photo Courtesy Txantxangorriak)]
The musical group from Boise has traveled to several Basque Festivals throughout the western United States, as well as American Festivals, including the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle, Washington and Trailing of the Sheep in Hailey, Idaho.
[One of the founders, Gina Ansotegui-Urquidi, introduces the group to
the crowd at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle, Washington (Photo Courtesy Txantxangorriak)]
WHO MADE IT HAPPEN
Dancing in Boise typically starts when the child is very young and continued into their adult life. But its a different story for those exposed to music. Organizers, Ana Mendiola, Gina Ansotegui-Urquidi and Dan Ansotegui knew forming the new group would open the world of traditional Basque music to kids who never dreamed of playing, while protecting an art form in Boise and around the world.
[Txantxangorriak members take time from their music playing to pose
for a group foto, in front of Epi's Basque Restaurant in Meridian, Idaho.
The group is made up of triki and pandereta players. Adults and children
both play (Photo Courtesy Txantxangorriak)]
Txantxangorriak practices in eight week sessions on Tuesday nights at the Basque Center. Classes are instructed by Dan Ansotegui on the triki and Sean Aucutt on the pandereta. Beginnings have already started. More advanced players will start practicing as a group in the next few weeks. Triki players must be at least ten years old. Pandereta players eight years old.