Oreka TX coming to New Mexico!

Since the 1960s, Basque folk music has seen a very exuberant revival, with the rediscovery of many traditional instruments.  Chief amongst those is the txalaparta, a device once used to communicate between the valleys, announcing weddings, deaths, and the completion of the latest sagardoa/cider batch.  Today, the txalaparta is central to a number of folk music groups, in particular the band Oreka TX.

Oreka TX has gained international fame for their skill with the txalaparta, a fame which brings them to New Mexico as part of a US tour.

On Saturday, September 25, Oreka TX will perform at Globalquerque!  For tickets and more information, check out Globalquerque’s website at 


On Sunday, September 26, NMEE is extremely pleased to host Oreka TX for a free private event, including a live performance and then a video presentation of their travels performing with other folk groups around the world.  The venue is still being finalized; stay tuned.  Donations to help offset the costs are welcome.

UPDATE: The venue has been set.  The performance will be at Mike’s Music Exchange in Eldorado.  See their website for directions, or contact Blas at blas@buber.net.

For more information about the txalaparta, you can visit this Wikipedia article:


For more information about Oreka TX, you can visit their website at


NMEE 2011 Board Elections

It’s that time of year, time to elect our board for 2011!  Several of the positions, being multi-year commitments, are already filled.  These include

  • Blas Uberuaga, President
  • Roger Martinez y Mondragon, Past-President
  • Lisa Van De Graaff/Karen Squires, Secretary/Treasurer

However, all of the Director positions (a total of 4) and the Vice-President position are vacant for 2011.  Consider helping NMEE in it’s goals of promoting and preserving Basque culture in New Mexico by serving on our board!  Nominations are due Sept 30.  They can be sent to Blas at blas@buber.net.

Oreka TX to play at Globalquerque!

Oreka TX, a Basque folk music group specializing in the Txalaparta (see this Wikipedia article), will be playing Saturday, Sept 25, at Globalquerque!

From Globalquerque’s website:

oreka  txMost musical instruments are made to be played by only one musician at a time. But from Spain’s Basque Country comes an instrument built for two. The txalaparta, third cousin to the vibraphone, has entered world music circles through the efforts of the Basque duo Oreka Tx. Seeing their chosen instrument as a metaphor of musical encounters, their latest CD is a set of collaborations with musicians from India, Lapland, Mongolia and North Africa. The results are melodic, intriguing and organic, as if the duo has tapped into forgotten currents of culture that traveled the world’s trade routes in the early centuries of history.

Oreka Tx began traveling the world in 2004, using the txalaparta as their vehicle and home, meeting musicians and discovering the reality of far away peoples, from Mongolia to Sahara, from Lapland to India. During their travels, they compiled visual and audio materials with a clear goal in mind: to share this music, these sounds, these images, and these experiences. Their dream became a reality and the result was the astounding documentary, “Nömadak Tx,” which won multiple awards at international film festivals. Their touring show takes the film’s concept to the next level. With the film projected onto a giant screen behind them, the Oreka Tx Band is joined on stage by the Saharawi and Mongolian singers featured in “Nömadak Tx.” The soundtrack evolves from the blending of live and film music, and performance pieces emanate from an impossibly-expanded ensemble, the people on stage combined with the multitude of musicians all over the world on screen, an extravagant multi-ethnic sound montage. The screen itself becomes a huge window onto the world, through which the audience is offered a particularly intimate glimpse into lives, music and landscapes across the globe.

2010 NMEE Picnic this Sunday!

We hope you’ll join us at the New Mexico Euskal Etxea’s 2010 Picnic!

Sunday, September 5th, at 1PM

Hyde Park Campsite #3

$5 members/ $10 non-members/ kids 12 & under free

Chorizo & drinks provided

Please bring a dessert or side dish to share.

Directions from Albuquerque:

  • Take I-25 N to Santa Fe
  • Take exit for St. Francis Dr
  • Turn left at the 2nd Paseo de Peralta light (after Alameda)
  • Turn left at Bishop’s Lodge Rd
  • Turn right onto Artist Rd and then contniue onto NM-475/Hyde Park Rd
  • Campsite #3 will be on the right
  • (Distance from the right turn on Artist Rd to Hyde Park is approximately 7 miles)

Please, no glass on campgrounds, bring wine in your bota bag!

May 2010 Newsletter Online!

The May 2010 NMEE Newsletter is now online!

Thank you so much to the following contributors:

  • Sonia Ulibarri of www.icefaerie.com and Karen Squires The Spanish Table
    (www.spanishtable.com) for their financial support of our newsletter.
  • Mat Perez-Dornaletxe and Tricia Erazo Penn for reviving the Member Portrait
  • Lou and Ginger Ollivier for hosting the Second Annual Mus Potluck this
    coming weekend.
  • The Basque Museum and Cultural Center (http://www.basquemuseum.com/) for
    letting us reprint their Ellis Island information.
  • Chef Emily Swantner (www.epicureanodyssey.com) for the fun cooking class
    and tasty recipe.
  • Spanish Trails International (www.shieldsofarms.com) for their continuing
    Heraldry contribution.
  • Blas Uberuaga for his continuing Buber-tik contribution and the Basque
    Legend information.
  • The Tapas Committee (Lorin Abbey, David Abbey, Sherry Morrison, Isaac
    Rivera, Karen Squires, Blas Uberuaga, and Lisa Van De Graaff) for putting
    your hearts into another great event this year.
  • Tricia Erazo Penn for single-handedly distributing this newsletter.

What a great team we are!

Lisa Van De Graaff
Co-Editor of the NMEE Newsletter

Tapas and Wine Night 2010!

Tapas and Wine Night 2010Announcing NMEE’s Fifth Tapas and Wine Night!

“…what an evening it was! The food was exceptional – they certainly lived up to their culinary heritage…” — Patty Karlovitz of “Local Flavor” magazine.

New Mexico Euskal Etxea’s Tapas and Wine Fundraiser is its premiere event! Featuring authentic Basque tapas/pintxos by renowned local chefs and caterers as well as wine from the world, including the Basque Country, the event is sure to excite your taste buds! While you sample the great food and drink, partake in our silent auction which features wonderful items from merchants and crafts-people, both local and national.

Tickets must be purchased in advance.

More information can be found on the Tapas and Wine Night 2010 page!

As we get closer to the date of the event, we will update the website with posts featuring both the tapas and the silent auction items.

All proceeds go towards NMEE’s goal of preserving and promoting the Basque culture in New Mexico.

NMEE is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Introducing the 2010 NMEE Board of Directors

Dear NMEE Members and Friends,

It is my pleasure to introduce the 2010 NMEE Board of Directors!  We will not have an election for the Board this year since the number of people accepting their nominations exactly matched the number of vacancies.

Kind regards,

Lisa Van De Graaff
2009 Election Coordinator


PRESIDENT: Roger Martínez y Mondragón
A Spanish-Basque-American, Roger has been involved with NM-Euskal-Etxea since the first Tapas dinner. His extensive credentials include:

* Two terms NMEE director, picnic chairman (all attending had a wonderful time)
* Two presidential terms, NM-Addiction-Counselors-Association
* Two terms board member, National-Association-of-Addiction-Counselors
* Two terms secretary Caballeros-de-Vargas
* Caballero of the Year, 2001
* OLG, Secretary/Treasurer
* OLG Mayordomo President, currently a past president
* NM-Licensing-&-Therapy-Practice-Board, chairman Education Standards Committee
* NMEE Vice President, 2009.

Roger is a licensed addiction counselor and presents workshops in NM, coast-to-coast nationally (Boston-to-Berkeley) & internationally, Montreal. Roger is also a professional photographer and owns Sweet Dreamz Photography.


VICE-PRESIDENT: Blas Pedro Uberuaga
Blas was born and raised in Idaho, the son and grandson of Basque sheepherders. As a child, Blas participated in Basque dancing, and while in college, he spent a year in San Sebastian learning Euskara. Blas has spent much of his adult life promoting Basque culture throughout the world via his website: www.buber.net. He was a part of the formation of the Seattle Basque Club and is a Founding Member of NMEE. The many friends he has made being a part of NMEE have been wonderful, and he looks forward to making many more.

SECRETARY/TREASURER: The role will be shared by Karen Squires & Lisa Van De Graaff
Karen was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a Founding Member of NMEE. She currently manages The Spanish Table in Santa Fe which sells food and cookware from Spain including the Basque Country. Her job gave her the opportunity to visit the Basque Country and to learn about Basque culture which she enjoys immensely, especially the food. She is excited to serve as Secretary/Treasurer on this year’s Board. Eskerrik asko.

Lisa grew up in Idaho, where a rich Basque culture thrives. Since marrying into a Basque family and having a child, she finds herself eager to ensure family and cultural traditions are honored (in particular, food, language, books, and travel). As Secretary/Treasurer, she plans to utilize her skills in project management to keep us on task and her appreciation of Basque culture to approach our mission in innovative ways.


Sherry Morrison
Sherry was born of a Mexican-Basque father and an American mother. During her childhood, her father often told stories of her ancestors and their migration from the Basque Country to North America. It has always been her desire to learn more about her ancestors and heritage, and now that she is retired and an active member of NMEE, she has the perfect venue to do so.

Louis Ollivier-Amestoy
Louis was raised in a Basque Hotel and Restaurant in Bakersfield, CA. After attending St. Mary’s College, CA, he studied in Spain before attending UNM for graduate study. He retired from the CIA, taught at Western NM Univ. for 9 years and is currently a NM State Court interpreter. He resides in Albuquerque and has been an NMEE board member for 2 years.

Patricia “Tricia” Erazo Penn
Tricia, a native of Santiago, Chile, grew up in the Midwest. Tricia’s surname, Erazo, is of Basque heritage, and her uncle, Carlos Erazo, returned to and currently lives in Bilbao. Tricia moved to Santa Fe from St. Paul, Minnesota in August of 1992. In September of 2007, after completing her eighth year as the special education director for Santa Fe Public Schools, Tricia retired. She is a member of good-standing in NMEE and served on the Board this past year. Tricia also has Rh negative blood, like most Basques!

Eva Valencia de Himmerich
Eva was born in Irvine, CA and attended schools in California where she had many Basque classmates as friends. Her maternal great-grandfather, Herculano Borboa, is said to have come to Mexico from the Basque provinces with the French army in 1862 and stayed after the removal of Emperor Maximilian in 1865.

After earning a BA in Theatre Arts with a dance emphasis from Cal State, Fullerton, and a teaching credential for Bilingual Ed, Eva and her husband Bob moved to Santa Fe. She earned an MA at UNM in Multicultural Education and has taught in the Santa Fe School District and at the Santa Fe Community College. She is currently on the Executive Board of the La Sociedad Folklórica de Santa Fe.

Election for 2010 NMEE Board of Directors

Dear Basque Club Members and Friends,

NMEE needs YOU, your ideas, and your enthusiasm for its 2010 Board of Directors!

Nominations may come from anyone interested in the club, and self-nomination is encouraged. Nomination forms may be sent by mail with the enclosed form, or you may email your nominations to lisa@buber.net. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, August 25, 2009.

Any member of NMEE in good standing may run for office. Members in good standing as of Sept 1, 2009 will vote by numbered ballot mailed to each member’s address of record. Votes will be cast by mail in sealed envelopes, and votes will be opened and counted at the Meeting of the Membership in October (sorry mail only, no email for voting).

Per our bylaws, the 2009 Vice-President, Roger Martinez y Mondragon, will rotate into the position of 2010 President. We will elect a Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, and four Directors for the 2010 Board. Please see the attached document for more information on each of these roles.

Modifications to the club’s Bylaws may also be presented to the membership for approval. If you would like a suggest a Bylaw change, please contact a member of the 2009 Board as soon as possible since only changes approved by the Board by September 15, 2009 will be included in this year’s election.

Election 2009 Calendar of Events

AUG 10 Nomination forms sent via email to electronic distribution and by mail to members without email.

AUG 25 Deadline for nomination form submission to Election Coordinator

SEP 1 Deadline for membership in NMEE to run for office and/or vote in this election.

SEP 15 Deadline for Board approved bylaw changes.
(Note that you will have to submit bylaw change recommendations
to the Board for approval well ahead of this deadline.)

SEP 15 Deadline for nomination acceptance and written quote for ballot.

SEP 22 Ballots will be mailed to Members’ homes.

OCT 10 Deadline for Ballot submission (Mail in sealed envelope to Election Coordinator or bring it with you to the Meeting of the Membership.)

OCT 10 Votes will be counted at the Meeting of the Membership
(6pm – At the Home of Paul and Sherry Morrison.)

JAN 1, 2010 New Board of Directors begins its term

Please contact me with any questions or comments about the election. Also, I could use some assistance with the assembly and mailing of the ballots in mid September – Let me know if you are interested.

Kind regards,

Lisa Van De Graaff
2009 NMEE Election Coordinator

El Farol Tapas Dinner

We couldn’t let a year go by without tapas and pintxos! Join us at El Farol in Santa Fe for good food and fun.

$25 per person (includes four tapas and dessert, but not beverages)

Space is limited!  To reserve your space, send a check made out to NMEE to:
Sherry Morrison
4313 Lone Raven Ln
Santa Fe, NM 8750

Contact: Sherry Morrison 505.474.3254 / pvtortuga@hotmail.com