Button Accordion

Manuel Ocamica


Manuel was born in Bedarona, Bizkaia on June 17, 1915.  A relative who had immigrated to the United States, Bernardina Ocamica, sent Manuel the money to buy his first accordion.  He seemed to have an innate love of music and always played by ear. 

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.

Joseba Etxarri

2014 Bakersfield, Accordion Festival - Euskal kazeta photo

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.

Laurent Arretche

Laurent Arretche was born in Arnegi, Behe Nafarroa, and came to Wyoming when he was young to work as a sheepherder. Later, after working in Elko, Nevada, he settled in Chino, California, and joined the Basque community there as the accompanist for their first Basque dance troupe in 1932. Later this group would become the Gauden Bat Basque dance group of Chino and Laurent would be the accordion player for the group along with Noeline Mocho.

Isabelle (Ocafrain) Bushman

Isabelle was born in Burlingame in 1974, to parents Jean Leon Ocafrain from Banka and Mayte Dagorret from Ortzaize who immigrated to California. Both of them were very active in the Basque community of the Bay Area where Isabelle grew up. Isabelle served as a director and ultimately the first female and third Basque-American president of the Basque Cultural Center of San Francisco. She was also the youngest. She served on the Basque Club board for years and has also been a NABO delegate.

David Romtvedt

2011 - David Romtvetd playing accordion on NABO convention.

Inocencio Catalino

1949 - Sheepherders Ball in Boise Idaho, Inocencio Catalino “Arrieta” playing accordion with Jose Ansotegui.

Florencio Uriaguereca Goenaga

1911- The Uriaguerca family arrives at Bliss, Idaho. Florencio holds a button accordion.

Florencio Uriaguereca was born May 11, 1871 in Mungia-Larrauri. He was married in 1898 at Sestao to Antonia Aguirre Yzaguirre who was born in 1875 in Ibarrangelu, Bizkaia. By 1908 Florencio traveled to the United States, entering through the port of New York.  By 1911 he was living on a ranch in Bliss, Idaho, and Antonia arrived later the same year to live with him.


Txantxangorriak (which means robin in Basque) was formed in April 2001 after watching a group of triki and pandero players from Gipuzkoa (Txorimaloak) who were invited by the Jaialdi Committee to participate in Jaialdi 2000.

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