Juan Mari Beltran


Born in Etxarri Aranatz (Navarra) in 1947. When we consider his career we find him a lover, investigator, promoter, and one of the most important figures of popular Basque Music.

Since his youth he´s been immersed in music, and at 11 he was already playing the clarinet in a music band and the “txistu" in the a band of txistularis in Etxarri Aranatz. At 16 he was part of the folk group ARGIA. During that time he continued on with the work of the previous generation of popular music, among them the “txalapartaris” the Zuaznabar and Goikoetxea brothers, “albokaris” such as León Bilbao and Txilibrin, “txistularis” like Mauricio Elizalde or Isidro Ansorena, “dulzaina” players such as Montte brothers, Paulo Sagarna, etc.



Goikoetxea Brothers


As a txalapartari he played with his brother Bixente and the Artze brothers in the group that in the 60’s, in conjunction with the Basque School of Art created by Jorge Oteiza, initiated the new era of the txalaparta, based on the traditional txalaparta music.


He has taken part in different groups, such as the “Grupo de Música Contemporánea” that was founded by the vanguard painter Rafael Ruiz Balerdi. Later on he created a group with indigenous Basque instruments called SUSTRAIAK and went on to create the folk groups AZALA and TXANBELA. Now he belongs to the latter, and also has an artistic partnership with Joxan Goikoetxea. Many different discs have been produced from the fruits of his labor in these groups and musicians of the Basque Country.  He also released a new disc entitled “Arditurri” in which he forms part of a quintet.


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In the field of investigation of popular music and instruments he has published many works in Eusko Ikaskuntza, Ethnographic notebooks, and Ethnology of Navarra, Txistulari, etc. In these works we discover the “supriñu” (the pastoral oboe), txulubita, txalaparta, dulcimer, games and dances... He’s also published the disc and the film “Euskal herriko Soinu Tresnak”, considered to be one of the most important documents of popular Basque organographia.


He has been giving classes in th txistu, alboka, dulcimer and txalaprta in the Music Conservatory in Hernani since 1985, and it was here that he created and directed the “Scholl of Txalaparta”. In recent years he has given conferences and courses in different forums: Danse Assosiation of Basque Country, the University of the Basque Country, The Summer university of the Basque Country and other schools and institutions.



These days he works in the continual creation of Herri Musikaren Txokoa (Rincón de la Música Popular), a small museum in Oiartzun, consisting of material he’s been compiling during the years: a wide collection of instruments, a library, record library and archives of images, photographs and films.


Moreover, he now presents ARDITURRI, his latest CD and the first he’s produced on his own, although in this disc is presented as quintet. The disc was recorder in May and June 2001 in the studio in Amasa, under the production of Suso Sáiz. it is edited by ELKARLAENAN and the collaborations are: Maddi Oihenart (vocals), Joseba Tapia (trikitixa), Miriam Atxaerandio (violin), Oihana Irastorza (panderets) and Joxan Goikoetxea (accordion).



In this recording Juan Mari Beltran presents us with a complete journey along our tradiotional musical paths. The excellent musicians Iñigo Monreal, Felipe Ugarte, Iñigo Lurgain and Aitor Gabilondo accompany him on his journey, in which they suceed in combining the ancient and the modern with a level of creativity and livliness never heard until now.