Juan Mari Beltran
His artistic development shows he is a searcher, a promoter and one of the most important figures of Basque popular music.
He was from a very young age in musical circles . First playing the clarinet and the txistu and very soon taking the lead of old generations of popular music. As a “txalapartari “ he took part , together with his brother Bixente and the Artze brothers, in the Basque art school set up by Jorge Oteiza in the 60´s. He then started the new era of “txalaparta” based on the traditional “.
He has taken part in groups like the Contemporary Group of Music founded by the painter Rafael Ruiz Balerdi y and created groups like Sustraiak, Azala y Txanbela. He has also been the artistic couple of Joxan Goikoetxea. Various records stay witness of his activity.
He has also published works in the field of investigation of popular music, and the record and film Euskal Herriko Soinu Tresnak, considered as one of the most important documents on the Basque popular organography.
Since 1985, he teaches txistu, alboka, dulzaina and txapalarta in the Conservatory of Music of Hernani. Here, he has created and conducts the Txalaparta Eskola (School of Txalaparta). During the last years he has also given lectures and conferences.
Recently he has also made true one of the projects on which he has been working for many years: the opening to the public of Herri Musikaren Txokoa (Corner of Popular Music) in Oiartzun. It is a museum where all the collected material is shown: instruments, library, sound and image archive, photographys and films.
Now, Juan Mari Beltran presents ARDITURRI, his last work and the first one done on his own, though it is presented as a sextet. The record has been produced by Suso Sáiz and many artists have taken part in it: Maddi Oihenart ( voice ), Joseba Tapia (trikitixa), Miriam Atxaerandio (violin), Oihana Irastortza (tambourine) and Joxan Goikoetxea (accordion).
In ARDITURRI, Juan Mari Beltran proposes an overlook of Basque traditional music. Excellent musicians like Iñigo Monreal, Ander Barrenetxea, Jasone Cámara, Aitor Gabilondo and Miriam F. Atxaerandio join him with remarkable creativity and vivacity in this trip .
In October 2009, among many other activities, Juan Mari Beltran published a new project: TXALAPARTA (editorial Nerea and Syntorama, 2009) is the masterpiece of Juan Mari Beltran, consisting of a luxury book with great wealth of texts and illustrations, sheet music and photographs. In addition, was accompanied by a CD composed of 18 original works exclusively recorded and produced for this project by Suso Saiz, and a DVD, collecting images of this recording and special interviews with the different protagonists of the history of the txalaparta. This is the result of a long research, that lays the groundwork for a full understanding of this music. This work pays special attention to the musical and social transformation of the txalaparta in the last forty years.
Ttakun Ttan Ttakun is de logical attainment of this written work, represented in a fantastic form at stages. It’s a journey through the sounds of the txalaparta, which takes us to conventional theatres and stages, where this instrument is now played, and also to the kitchen of our grandparents, to our plays in the river o to a harvest time, when the music was played by the sound of the work tools.
In this magic journey, Juan Mari Beltrán and his team transport us from our grandparents work rythms to the sound of the mordern txalaparta. Using a fantastic play of lights and shadows, imagines, dance, rural scenes and city skylines, this performance allows us learn enjoying our culture and traditions.