Miren Aizpitarte

2011 July - Boise Oinkari Basque Dancers performance in Euskadi.

Miren's love for music and playing instruments started at an early age. She first learned to play the piano and then branched out to the trikitixa, saxophone and alboka. When she was eight years old, she joined the Basque accordion group Txantxangorriak and learned to play the trikitixa. She played the trikitixa for the Azkarrak dance group in Boise'ko Gazteak for four years, and in 2010, she became a musician for the Oinkari Basque dancers.

In 2009, Miren's sister Daniela brought an alboka from the Basque Country and Miren taught herself how to play in about six months. She was so determined to learn the alboka because she discovered it is a dying Basque instrument, and she could not find anyone else in the United States who played. First, she mastered circular breathing and then taught herself how to play the alboka itself. Playing alboka with the Oinkari Basque Dancers and Amuma Says No gave her an opportunity to keep alboka music alive in the U.S.

Miren was selected to go to a Basque government program called Gaztemundu that was focused on Basque musicians in 2013. She attended workshops to learn more trikitixa music and also had instruction on the alboka from Karlos Subijana. She has played the alboka for the Oinkari Basque Dancers and Amuma Says No at Basque festivals in the United States and Euskadi, including Jaialdi festivals in Boise, the Hidden in Plain Sight premier exhibit in New York City, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C.

Miren currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area but continues to play trikitixa and alboka for the Oinkari Basque Dancers and Txantxangorriak during festivals and special events.

2010 Feb. - Amuma Says No performance at the Hidden in Plain Sight premier in New York City.

Audio Recording: 
Miren Azpitarte, playing Alboka for Gazte Mundu selection.