The Kennedy Center

Biotzetik Basque Choir



Biography

Biotzetik, which in Basque means "from the heart", was founded in 1986 to spread the Basque musical heritage to people worldwide. It is the only regularly rehearsing and performing Basque choir in the United States and continues the long and proud tradition of Basque choral singing in Boise, Idaho.

The choir is comprised of approximately 50 volunteer members, both Basque and non-Basque, all of whom have a deep appreciation for music and the desire to promote the Basque language and culture. They perform year-round for community events, weddings, funerals, fundraisers and other activities – providing formal Basque choral and folksong music as appropriate for each venue. Since 1998, Biotzetik has been under the direction of Patty Gabica Haas.

Biotzetik has sung throughout the United States as well as internationally in Canada and the Basque Country in Spain and France. The following are some examples of the kinds of events and venues for which the choir performs or participates:

The choir regularly performs music for Basque festivals – primarily in Boise, Idaho as well as nearby Mountain Home, Idaho, and as far as Nevada, Utah and California for NABO (North American Basque Organization) conventions.

For every Jaialdi International Basque Festival, hosted in Boise, Idaho starting in 1987, the choir has performed for many key audiences, including Festara! with the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra, performances for the Basque Autonomous President at the Boise Center on the Grove, and Jaialdi opening ceremonies. Additionally, the choir has provided the liturgical music for all the Jaialdi Masses.

The choir serves as music ministers for the annual Basque Mass at St. John's Cathedral in honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola. They sing at St. Mary's Catholic Church each year for the Easter Vigil Mass. The choir additionaly co-sponsors Omenaldia, a memorial mass for members and friends of the Basque community, held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church each year near the feast of All Saints. And, when requested by local families, the choir provides music for funerals.

On an annual basis the choir hosts "Kantari Afaria," a popular Boise event during which patrons enjoy a Basque dinner, music and a lively auction. This is a major fundraiser for the choir, and is routinely sold out each year. During the holidays, the choir often spreads holiday cheer to senior citizens throughout a day of Christmas caroling at local homes for the elderly. The choir occasionally performs a holiday concert sung in Basque and English, and participates with other holiday groups when requested.

Biotzetik has sung throughout Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State and Vancouver, British Columbia for a variety of folk festival and tour promotions. In 2001 and 2006 the choir traveled to the Basque Country to perform and participate in music workshops. In 2003 the choir toured to Basque clubs in the Northwest: Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C., and Yakima. They also participated in a festival in Leavenworth, Washington. The choir traveled to New York City in February 2010 to perform at the opening of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center's Ellis Island exhibit, Basque: Hidden in Plain Sight. In 2013, the choir was part of the Festival of Sail in San Diego, California, and in 2016, the choir is travelling to Washington D.C. to participate in the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Basque Innovation by Culture.

In 2006, Biotzetik received the Governor's Award in the Arts recognizing their contributions to the arts in the State of Idaho and beyond.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/2/2016: Biotzetik Basque Choir

Founded by members of Boise, Idaho’s Basque community, the Biotzetik Basque Choir is made up of traditional folk songs and formal choral pieces.

Part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the Hall of States starting at approximately 5 p.m., up to two tickets per person.

Biotzetik Basque Choir