Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 2013-2014

JULY 6, 2016, Noon, No Tickets Required

Erramun Martikorena and Mikel Markez

Coolidge Auditorium

NOKA is a trio composed of Andréa Bidart, Begoña Echeverria, and Cathy Petrissans, the daughters and granddaughters of Basque immigrants who grew up together in Chino, California. They are members of the Chino Basque club and were raised speaking and singing in Basque. In 1997, they formed the singing trio NOKA and have since recorded three CDs and toured internationally. As NOKA, they specialize in songs about Basque culture, gender, and identity. They are particularly interested in songs that use Noka, a familiar form of address historically used in speaking to a girl or woman in whom one had konfiantza or trust. Noka has almost disappeared from everyday speech, but it is still used among some immigrants. By singing in Noka, they hope to bring more awareness to this important aspect of the Basque language and, perhaps, increase its use. Informed by life experiences and academic research, NOKA’s concerts are intended to entertain but also to educate their audiences. All songs are sung in Basque (an endangered language), and as often as possible in Noka (a unique gendered grammatical form of speech). Those who attend this NOKA performance will leave with a catchy tune in their heart and a bit of Basque knowledge in their head.

Two well-known singers from the Basque Country will join NOKA for this concert. Erramun Martikorena, from the French-Basque town of Baigorri, continued his occupation as a shepherd along with a successful singing career that includes eight albums. He favors traditional Basque music and his songs touch on the themes of nature and life in small Basque villages. Mikel Markez is a more modern folk singer and songwriter, whose most popular song is “Zure Begiek (Your Eyes).” The poet-singer from Errenteria, Gipuzkoa started singing at 15, has recorded  several albums, and has written songs for various other Basque musicians.

Co-Sponsored by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. All concerts are held in the Coolidge Auditorium (located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress) or the Whittall Pavilion (next to the Coolidge, on the Ground Floor, Jefferson Building). Presented in Partnership with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.