Johnny Curutchet

Jean “Johnny” Curutchet was born in 1946 in San Francisco to parents, Jean and Ana, who came from Ezterenzubi, Nafarroa Beherea. When he was six months old the family traveled to Ezterenzubi to pick up his other two brothers who were staying with a relative. The original idea was to return to San Francisco, but this did not happen. Johnny finally returned to California in 1966. His brother Sebastian, was already living in San Francisco.

The day after his arrival he joined the San Francisco Basque club and began participating in the dance group and klika. He also participated in in the Antzerkia or Basque Theatre. He taught young Basques pilota and klika for over a decade. Johnny is a founding member and director of the BCC and is the first Basque American to become President of the San Francisco Basque Club (1987-1989) and President of the BCC (1992-1994).

He sings in the Elgarrekin choir. His love for the Basque language and music led him to sing Bertsoak, becoming a regular performer at Basque community events in the Bay Area and throughout the American West. The Society of Basques Studies in America inducted Johnny into the Basque Hall of Fame in 2006 for his lifetime dedication to Basque culture.