Music is one of the most deeply rooted artistic expressions among the people of Lea-Artibai. There is no event, party or meal among friends without music and songs. Who does not know the famous “Boga, Boga, Mariñela”, a composition that has practically become the official anthem of these lands? In Lea Artibai we can find many styles of music in concerts that are organized as well as in musical events.
This need to express itself musically has meant that many of its towns have, in addition to a wide repertoire of popular songs, important choirs, choral societies, estudiantinas and music schools. A good example of this is the Lekeitian choir “Itxas Soinua” composed of 50 white voices and of international renown, the “Unanue Kamara Korala” from Ondarroa, a musical group named after the famous tenor Pedro María de Unanue (1814-1846), born in that town, which was also the birthplace of the great composer Gotzon Aulestia (1940-2003), the Emeki and Xemein choir from Markina-Xemein.
During the month of May, with the “Ancient Music Concerts”, the monastery of Zenarruza is transformed into one of the most important auditoriums in the Basque Country. Groups and soloists of the highest international prestige take part in them. Its valuable organ, considered to be the oldest in the Basque Country, becomes the protagonist of the most eagerly awaited concerts by the public on those days. Between the months of June and August, the towns of Ondarroa and Lekeitio organise three important musical events: the “Pedro Mª de Unanue Music Cycle”, the “Itxas Soinua” music festival and the popular “Inter Musika”, a musical showcase of various styles. On the other hand, every week you can find a concert or musical event at the Kafe Antzoki in Ondarroa (www.kafeantzokia.com) and the Uhagon cultural centre in Markina-Xemein (www.uhagon.com).
International Organ Festival
In Lea-Artibai there are 10 organs, and next to them 15 harmoniums or small tongue organs. If we analyse the current situation of the region, we see that there is an obvious risk of losing and leaving this heritage in oblivion. The Lea-Artibai International Organ Festival is organised with the aim of awakening interest in this musical instrument and making music written for it known.