Joseba Etxarri

2014 Bakersfield, Accordion Festival - Euskal kazeta photo

Joseba was born in 1962 in Donostia,  in the Basque Country. He first came to the United States in 1987, eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay area in 1990. He has worked as a journalist for almost three decades. His work has taken him to every place in the USA with a  Basque presence, putting together material on Basques and Basque culture,creating radio programs about Basque America,  and also producing TV shows and reports, especially in print media and internet.

He publishes a weekly article on Basque Diaspora in Herria magazine of Bayonne and is the director of EuskalKultura.com, a daily bulletin and webpage about Basques and Basque culture worldwide. In 1994 he wrote and published the book Euskaldunen Ameriketa, Bidaia bat EEBBetan zehar (The America of the Basques, a trip through the United States).

Joseba plays Basque diatonic accordion (trikitixa), as well as the piano, organ, keyboards and vocals.

Since 1990, he has been part of Jean Flesher’s band, playing keyboards and trikitixa at many Basque picnics in California and Nevada. As an accordionist he also played solo at Basque events  in Idaho, Wyoming and New York and as an organist at Basque weddings and Masses. As a singer and musician he performed  in many Gardnerville Euskal Kantari Eguna Song and Bertso festivals. He was part of the two Basque accordion festivals organized in Bakersfield in 2004 and 2014. Joseba has also accompanied Bertsolaris (Basque verse improvisers). As a pianist he played with Erramun Martikorena in Buffalo, Wyoming. And finally, as an irrintzilari, he won first and second place in  in Elko and Winnemucca contests in 1990. He has been the music and vocal instructor for nine NABO Udaleku summer camps. Despite not living in the USA Joseba’s influence on the preservation of the Basque Culture has been huge.