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Xabier Amuriza

Personal details

Amuriza, Xabier
Complet name and surname
Amuriza Sarrionandia, Xabier
1941 Etxano + Etxano < Zornotza < Durangaldea < Bizkaia < Basque Country


Main specialization
Bertso irakaslea

Biographical details

Born on 3rd May in 1941 in the Bizkaian locality of Amorebieta-Etxano. He is a writer, journalist, teacher but his calling is that of a bertsolari. Amuriza has published a number of books and recorded several albums, mostly about the oral improvised art form in Basque. He also composes a great deal - lyrics and bertsos- for singers. He quit bertsolaritza in 2016, and he received the 2019 Manuel Lekuona Prize awarded by Eusko Ikaskuntza

In 1965, he became a priest, his cassock being a novelty on the bertsolaritza stage. Three years later he fell foul of Francoism, spending seven years in three different jails as a political prisoner.

He has twice (1980 and 1982) been the All Euskal Herria champion. As a priest he sung bertsos in a number of localities in Bizkaia which, at the beginning, with his cassock and so on, was an awe-inspiring experience for the faithful listeners. Xabier left the priesthood in 1977. Xabier Amuriza's second period was the product of deep reflection in prison, began when he was 35 years old, and sparked an important revolution in modern bertsolaritza. He used the unified Basque language, batua, (established in 1968 as a supradialectical vehicle). Apart from this watershed for bertsolaritza, he established a model for a literary singing through great imagery, metaphor and the poetic development of the bertso. Apart from his public example, Amuriza encouraged bertsolaritza in the schools.

First steps in bertsolarism

Lehen plaza
6 urterekin, aitarekin, Etxanoko Azutzaganeko tabernan Bizkargiko Santa Kurtzetatik bueltan, eta Epeltze auzoko San Antolinetan.
1966an, Gizaburuagan, Abel Muniategi lagun

Other works

Bertso jarri ezagunenak
Galizianoen bertsoak (jarritako 2. sorta, aitaren eskariz, aitak kantatzeko)
Kalista eta Patxiko (jarritako lehen sorta, Seminarioan kantatzeko, 17 urte zituela)
Txepetxa eta kukua (jarritako 3. sorta; seminarioan)
Zamorako espetxean jarriak