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New in 2018 - Basque Traditions

2018 Highlights

Bertzolariak at Elko Festival MG.JPG


Basque Workshops

Connect with the Basque heritage through music and movement as you learn the steps to Basque social dances and more about the pandero instrument in our Basque Percussion workshops.

Read more about them here.

Daily Programming

View the full daily schedule for more Basque appearances: Thursday January 31 through Saturday, February 4, 2018, our Basque guests will join with buckaroos, poets and musicians! At the right, Click on Filter by Type, select Daytime Performances, then select "Basque" from the drop down.

Basque & Buckaroo Kickoff Bash

Monday, January 29, 2018
7:00pm, G Three Bar Theater, $20

Kick off the 34th Gathering with an artful entry into the worlds of Basques and buckaroos. Enjoy the Basque art of bertsolaritza as poets bandy sung-spur-of-the-moment rhymes, and tap your toes to the strains of the trikitixa in this evening of music and poetry featuring David Romtvedt & Caitlin Belem and more. Come early and try out the Pioneer Picon punch! Stay afterward for a glass of wine and a game of mus.

Bizkaia, Boise and Beyond *

Thursday, February 1, 2018
6:00pm, Elko Convention Center Auditorium, $35/$3-/$25


From Basque country to buckaroo country comes an evening of surprises. Join champion bertsolariak from both sides of the pond as they engage in the Basque art of bertsolaritza,  which is improvised, created-on-the-spot melodic poetry-sparring as the bertsolariak try to cleverly one-up each other. Enjoy verse and stories that connect buckaroos to Argentine Basque gauchos to Basque-American ranchers. And, experience the irresistible force of music and dance that spans all these worlds. Gure etxera datorrena, bere etxean dago! "Who come to our home are at their home!"

This show is one of several we for which we offer a special "Next Generation" discount for folks who are between the ages of 15 and 35. A limited number of tickets are available at the discounted price of $20. Buy up to two tickets. Read more.

Interesting Links from Great Basin College Humanities:

Basque Stories     Northeastern Nevada Museum Quarterly article  

Basque Dancing     Other Basque Resources       The National Basque Festival in Elko

If you are wondering what bertsolaritza is and why it is such an important oral tradition in the Basque Country, watch this pilot video for the film Bertsolari by Txintxua Films. You will be amazed at the complexity of this traditional performance art, and at the huge numbers of people who follow the bertsolari and support the competition. We will be presenting bertsolari from the US and the Basque Country at the 2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, including one bertsolari - the competition winner in this video -- Maialen Lujanbio Zugasti! This is a cultural experience not to be missed!

Among the Basque traditions that will be presented at the Gathering is bertsolaritza, the improvised poetic art form where two bertsolaris improvise and exchange poetic verses in the Euskara language, while trying to cleverly one-up each other. These verses are sung to melodies and created on the spot in response to a given theme.