John Barrutia

John Barrutia began playing the harmonica in the late 1950s.  He was self-taught and would listen to music and then would try to play the songs by ear.  He remembers playing with a group that he used to chum around with – Ray Mansisidor, Simon Achabal, and Al Erquiaga.  John recalls traveling up to Sun Valley with this group of friends and sleeping in a tent overnight and then playing music as the entertainment for a gathering up there in the 1950s or 60s.

John bought his button accordion from a pawn shop and asked his friend, Ray Mansisidor, to show him the fundamentals of how to play.  Playing by ear, he improved his skills by practicing in front of his 90+ year old mother who enjoyed listening to Basque music (She lived to be 101!).

Source: From a brief, telephone interview, Patty A. Miller with John Barrutia on 9.20.16

This group had a couple of guitar lessons to be able to play a Basque tune at a Basque dance. L-R  Al Erquiaga, Simon Achabal, Dave Lachiondo (accordion), John Barrutia & Ray Mansisidor on guitars.


Ray Masisidor and John Barrutia