Kepa Junkera

The composer, producer and musician Kepa Junkera born in Bilbao, 1965, lived his childhood and youth in the neighborhood of Rekalde, which has undoubtedly marked his character. His first contact with the music would come from his maternal “Aitite” (grandfather) who, in the times of the pilgrimages would accompany his daughter with the tambourine while she took her first dancing steps with Txilibrin, her dancing couple.

Since then Kepa Junkera, a self-taught, restless and brave man will begin his hard long journey through the world of the traditional music, creating a unique style while making his way to become one of the most international musicians of the Basque Country.

His recordings have revolutionized many musical areas, as the trikitixa (diatonic accordion), the traditional music, his ingenious improvisations or even the way to blend different styles of music to enrich the Basque Musical Scene, but maintaining these recordings deeply rooted in the traditional music. Kepa has created his music with no frontiers, mixing aromas, rhythms and colors from so many places and cultures, opening up to the world without complexes, with respect, curiosity and overall with enthusiasm of anyone who loves what he does

Kepa Junkera´s discography is a true reflection of his extensive musical career. The musician from Bilbao has released 15 albums to date including his new latest CD, Fandango Provença Sessions — a compilation of songs written entirely by Kepa, himself, that on this occasion is accompanied by the Melonius Quartet, performing in a different but innovation way, creating new music sounds in which we rediscover another music facet of the composer of Bilbao.

Kepa, Zabaleta eta Motriku (1987)
Triki up (1990) 
Trikitixa Zoom (1991)
Trans Europe Diatonique (1993)
Kalejira Al-Buk (1994)
Lau Eskutara (1995)
Leonen Orroak (1996)
Bilbao hora 00:00h (1998)
Tricky (2000)
Maren (2001)
K (2003)
Athletic Bihotzez (2004)
Hiri (2006)
Etxea (2008)
Provença Sessions serie Fandango (2009)

As a producer, Kepa, produces all his albums but has also produced a long list of recordings of many other musicians, as QUERCUS ENDORPHINA (2001) for Oreka TX, a major bet for the txalaparta (an ancestral xylophone played by horizontal planks hit with vertical sticks) and where he starts to carry out and develop this ancestral instrument and continues now as the Artistic Director of The Basque Txalaparta Company (ETXAK). We can not leave out that, that year 2004 produces the album AIREA of Ibon Koteron that follows with the recording of LEONEN ORROAK, trying to drive and to evolve the alboka as a musical instrument. In 2009, he has also produced the new CD of Garikoitz Mendizabal, Txistulari Lasaia, which Kepa drives the txistu as a musical instrument, opening to new and musical view points in achieving a recognized spot in the music world. Also he co-produced URA with the group of Oskorri.

The music of Kepa Junkera has also served as inspiration to important dancing groups as The National Danza Company, Aukeran, Tempomobile or even The Ballet of Julio Bocca at the time of inspiration creating new choreography.

With his incredible laborious career behind him, Kepa Junkera today is one of the most prolific Basque musicians. It wouldn’t be right to say the he works hard only in his albums as in composed themes, which is very true but he has also opened a door, a musical and personal one that is reflected in all his live concerts, filling you with the energy , rhythm and vitality he pours out. Thanks to what he gives out in the concerts he has earn a huge list of cities around the world wanting him to perform, New York, Paris, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, etc., one of the concerts most charged with energy was the Getxo´s Folk Festival with the Symphony Orchestra of the Basque Country. Performing in numerous different editions of the Celtic Connections in Glasgow, tours in many European Countries, United States, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Japan among others admiring the diatonic accordion music of Kepa Junkera. 

Another point to mention, Kepa Junkera´s music was also chosen by the National Dance Company for one of their shows and has also been selected by Pedro Almodóvar but he also teaches in Musikene, the Superior Music School of the Basque Country, leading both, traditional music as their instruments to a new area much more in tune with our times.

So many emotions, feelings and dreams still swarm through the mind of this composer, interpreter and producer of Bilbao, looking to shape forms into notes, rhythms and melodies. As one of his characteristic, we all know, his mind, always working to bring us through his music, those new worlds, new cultures and different but innovating new sounds to discover.