Oinkari dancers, Txantxangorriak, Amuma Says No rock downtown Boise
Txantxangorriak, a musical group open to all ages that gives newcomers the opportunity to learn the trikitixa (accordion) and the pandereta (tambourine), were in charge of breaking the ice and getting the first standing ovations from the audience.
Then it was time for the Oinkari Basque Dancers, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary. The Basque dancers, one of the most visible parts of Idaho's Basque-American heritage, kicked off with an agurra, a traditional Basque dance to welcome guests and prominent people, and continued with a number of dances for either female or male dancers as well as some mixed ones.
"This is great. It is great culture; it is a great event for people to see," said Gary, from Boise. For Robert, from Cadwell, it was neither his first time in Jaialdi or his first time with the Oinkaris, though he continues to enjoy every single time he sees them. "This is excellent. I have seen the Oinkaris before, they are so good, I love them," he said.
For others, it was their first time in Boise and in Jaialdi, one, they say, they will never forget. "I am amazed after going to the Basque Country and seeing the culture there and now seeing it here in America. I am stunned that in Boise there is such a big Basque community," says Katie D'Angelo, a US violin teacher who hit the news when she recorded a cover version of Mikel Laboa's 'Txoria Txori' which she uploaded onto youtube.
Jose Antonio Alcayaga III, a US photographer of Basque heritage, member of the Basque Club of New York and Katie's boyfriend, was also impressed. "It is incredible to keep that tradition up for 50 years. Very impressive," he says, when talking about the Oinkari Basque Dancers.
"I love it. I think it is great to see Basques, Basque Americas, Basques from Latin America. Everyone is here today at Jaialdi, and it is very nice to see that," he adds.
Amuma Says No, a Basque-American band that plays traditional Basque music but gives with an original twist, followed the Oinkaris and rocked the whole place.
The Boise band recently played in Washington D.C. in the Homegrown Concert Series, that features musicians performing traditional music from a variety of cultures in the United States.
Aside from Wednesday's performance, Amuma Says No will perform at Saturday's Street Dance at the Expo Idaho Fairgrounds on Saturday Night.