The Basque Bertsolariak: Festival Welcome

At Basque festivals, sporting events, and other ceremonial gatherings, it is traditional to invite bertsolariak to the stage to sing a greeting in rhymed verse. The opening ceremony of the 2016 Folklife Festival was no different, with short songs by Martin Goicoechea, Irati Anda, and Xabier Paya. … Continue reading The Basque Bertsolariak: Festival Welcome

Reflections on the Sounds of California

In many ways, the 2016 Folklife Festival represented a rallying cry, an alliance, a remarkable display of kinship and respect. Artists, musicians, and performers celebrated their cultural identities in a space that allowed them to share their stories in their own words. The buoyant strains … Continue reading Reflections on the Sounds of California

Biotzetik Basque Choir: “White Dove”

Beautiful landscape, delicious food, and melodious vocals—within this one song, the Biotzetik Basque Choir from Boise, Idaho, encapsulates three of the distinctive features of Basque culture. Performed on the Arts and Industries Stage at the 2016 Folklife Festival, the song “White Dove” tells of the beauty of … Continue reading Biotzetik Basque Choir: “White Dove”

TmbaTa: “Gaceq teseq” (Գացեք տեսեք)

Smiles creep onto the performers’ faces as they catch each other’s eye, their uninhibited joy infecting the crowd. After all, they have come from practicing at an after-school program in Armenia all the way to performing on the National Mall of the United States. The … Continue reading TmbaTa: “Gaceq teseq” (Գացեք տեսեք)