Dan Ansotegui

2016 - Dan Ansotegui with the Txantxangorriak in the Winnemucca Basque Festival.

Dan Ansotegui was born in Boise, Idaho in 1959. Dan's father, Domingo, played drums for Jimmy Jausoro’s band and they practiced in the basement of the Ansotegui home. Dan remembers many times going to sleep listening to the band's music coming through the heating vents. Dan played coronet in grade school and high school. At Jim's insistence, he began playing drums for the band shortly after his father, Domingo, passed away. Initially, Jim asked Dan to play for an upcoming wedding on his father's drum set. When Dan replied that he really didn't know how to play the drums, Jimmy answered, "That's okay, neither did your dad when he started playing with the band". 

In 1986 he became one of the original members of Ordago playing drums and singing for the group until 1991. In 1990, Dan made a trip to the Basque Country to learn the button accordion. While there Dan studied for four months with Joseba Tapia, the champion button accordion player of Euskadi at the time.

Dan Ansostegui was a founding member of Gaupasa in 1996, playing trikitixa as well as an original member of Amuma Says No.

Txantxangorriak, a group formed to teach button accordion (trikitixa) and tambourine (pandareta) to students beginning at a young age through adults, was established in 2001.  Dan was asked to teach for this group and designed a learning method outlined in the book Gure Trikitixa (Our Button Accordion) which he uses with beginning level students.  He has taught numbers of students since 2001, many of whom now accompany the children’s Boiseko Gazteak Basque Dancers and the Oinkari Basque Dancers.

Dan has acted as a Master teacher in the Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program offered through the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

Dan also established Bar Gernika and the Basque Market in the Basque Block of Boise.

The Basque community and the citizens of Idaho are fortunate to have a dedicated individual like Dan Ansotegui who not only loves music, but also makes the time to teach others so that the tradition of Basque music will continue for future generations to enjoy.

Audio Recording: 
Egun da Santi Mamina, D. Ansotegui & Family and Sean Aucutt
Tiriki Triki Trauki, Amuma says No, Dan Ansotegui, trikitixa &back up vocals