Kepa Junkera was born in Bilbao (located in the Basque region of Spain) in 1965. His first musical dream was realized when the band Oskorri became interested in a boy who played the trikitixa (Basque diatonic accordion) with such extraordinary skill. From 1983 onward they have shared an uninterrupted musical friendship and Junkera has played on most Oskorri albums as well as been a guest performer on several of their tours and concerts.
A composer as well as a performer, Junkera’s first original pieces were recorded in 1988 on the album Kepa, Zabaleta eta Mutriku. His two subsequent albums, 1990’s Triki Up and 1991’s Triki Zoom, are outstanding examples of a blend between jazz and trikitixa dance music.
In 1992 Junkera’s European experiences were reflected in Trans-Europe Diatonic, a special diatonic accordion trio project with John Kirkpatrick and Riccardo Tesi. The album, recorded in Belgium and followed by a long European tour, was the genesis of many international friendships Junkera has continued to nurture.
After releasing Kalegira Al-Buk, an album with an international folk rock sound, and Lau Eskuetara (recorded with Julio Pereira), Junkera joined forces with Ibon Koteron, a master of the alboka, a unique Basque wind instrument made out of two ram’s horns. Their album, Leonen Orroak (1996), explored the folk music of Junkera’s Basque homeland.
Junkera has performed on the road and in the studio with many important international folk musicians such as Béla Fleck, Carlos Núñez, Paddy Moloney and Phil Cunningham. Bilbao 00:00h, an album of unusual scope and vision, is one of these collaborations.
Kepa Junkera suffered a stroke while on tour in Belgium on December 5, 2018 and was recovering in a hospital.
Triki Up (Elkarlanean, 1990)
Trikitixa Zoom (Nuba Records, 1991)
Trans-Europe Diatonique (Silex, 1993)
Kalejira Al-Buk (Elkarlanean, 1994)
Lau Eskutara (Elkar , 1995)
Leonen Orroak (Elkar, 1996)
Bilbao 00:00h (Resistencia, 1998)
Maren (EMI, 2001)
K (EMI, 2003)
Athletic Bihotzez (Fundación Athletic Club, 2004)
Hiri (Elkar, 2006)
Etxea (Warner Music Spain, 2008)
Fandango: Provença Sessions (Hiri Records, 2009)
Kalea (Warner Music Spain, 2009)
Fandango: Habana Sessions (Hiri Records, 2010)
Beti Bizi (2010)
Ultramarinos & Coloniales (Warner Music Spain, 2011)
Galiza (Fol, 2013)
Trikitixaren historia txiki bat – Una pequeña historia de la trikitixa, with Sorginak (2014)
Maletak (Altafonte, 2016)