Bertso Singers

Egaña Makazaga, Andoni

Bertsolari, writer, columnist, scriptwriter .... born in Zarautz on 2 October 1961.

He studied Basque philology in Vitoria-Gasteiz where he began to work as a cultural animator until 1990 when he left his job and returned to Zarautz to devote himself solely to creative work in bertsolaritza, literature and journalism.

Attracted to the world of bertso after the 1980 and 1982 Championships, specifically by the work of Xabier Amuriza, he made his debut in his home town in the 1982 Lizardi Prize, which he won. In 1986 he took part in his first National Championship (Bertsolari Txapelketa Nagusia) in which he reached the final. He ed the final in the next one in 1989 and went on to win the three subsequent ones in 1993, 1997 and 2001. Together with Uztapide, he is the bertsolari who has won the most national txapelas. He also took part in the 1991 Gipuzkoa bertsolari, where he was runner-up, and he won the 1999 Gipuzkoa inter-village bertsolari on behalf of Zarautz, together with Julen Zulaika and Iñigo Manzisidor "Mantxi".

He is one of the most important figures in bertsolaritza, not only for his achievements in championships, but also for his contribution to the creation of bertsolaritza performance after performance, to the study of the bertso production process, to the movement itself with his reflections and work... He is one of the main theorists of modern bertsolaritza.

His success as a performer lies in his absolute mastery of the technique and in the knowledge he has acquired of all the intricacies of this art. A connoisseur of all forms and registers of language, he has the ability to always find the right word for each moment and way of saying. He is a master when it comes to finding new ideas and formulating them in such a way that the audience he is singing to instantly grasps them, because above all he knows how to adapt his way and manner of communicating to the audience he is addressing. With serious or sentimental themes, humour of all kinds, irony... he is a true creator of bertsos in all modalities and styles.

In addition to bertsolaritza, he has written articles for newspapers such as "El Diario Vasco", "Euskaldunon Egunkaria", "Argia" etc., scripts for television, he has worked as a presenter in the programme Balinda on Euskal Telebista (E.T.B.), he has written several books and has published some records.

In addition to several works of children's literature, his literary production includes the book in which he compiles part of his journalistic articles Aitaren batean (Edit. Elkar, 1990) a collection of short stories Sokratikoek ere badute ama (Edit. Erein, 1989) an essay on bertsolaritza, together with Jon Sarasua, Zozoak beleari (Edit. Alberdania, 1997) a novel Pausoa noiz luzatu (Edit. Elkargintza Fundazioa - Alberdania, 1999) with which he won the Euskadi Prize for Literature (Euskadi Saria 1999) a biography of the bertsolari Basarri aimed at young readers Basarri (Edit. Sendoa 1999) also for the youth sector Zaudete geldi pixka batean (Edit. Elkar, 2000) and the book written together with Jon Sarasua and Joxerra Garzia and published in four languages El arte del bertsolarismo (Edit. Bertsolari liburuak, 2001).

He has published a record of his bertsos set to music, Tximeletak sabelean (Kea, 1994), has composed a dozen tunes and has contributed others made up expressly by other musicians that are used in public performances. He has also won several prizes for written bertsos.

For five years (1995-2000) he was in charge of the research area of the Association of Friends of Bertsolaritza (Euskal Herriko Bertsozale Elkartea), thus taking part in the management of this organisation. He is working on the development of a method for cultivating orality in schools.

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