Xabi Aburruzaga

Observing his mischievous smile and clear gaze, it’s easy to imagine 12-year-old Xabi on the day he brought home his first trikitixa from the house of Rufino Arrola, a friend of his father. Much of that excitement and sense of wonder is still present in today’s Xabi, six albums and hundreds of concerts later. He has never been separated from that trikitixa, his “beloved triki.”

Xabi’s early successes in trikitixa competitions affirmed his path: he won 2nd and 3rd prizes in the Derio (Bizkaia) championship in 1995 and 1996, respectively. His formal training and direct engagement with living traditions led to his first demo with four self-composed tracks, funded by his teaching and performing work. This demo’s positive reception brought about various commissions, such as composing songs for local events and collaborating with renowned musicians. In 2005, he published the sheet music book Bizkaiko trikixa and released a corresponding album, showcasing his professional, urban musician’s personality.

Xabi’s discography has grown significantly, marked by his first album of original compositions, Denboraren Naufrago. His subsequent albums, Geure and KeltiK, further developed his unique sound, blending Basque folk traditions with Celtic, jazz, and even rock elements. KeltiK, a tribute to Celtic music, integrates it seamlessly with Xabi’s Basque roots and features collaborations with notable musicians. This album was celebrated at the Festival Folk de Getxo in 2016. Recognized for his innovation, Xabi received various accolades, including winning the Proyecto Runas in 2014 and being named Bandera Azul de Bilbao for his contributions to Aste Nagusia. His fifth album, Bost, reflects his diverse musical experiences and collaborations, earning him the Musika Bulegoa Saria award for the best folk album in 2020. In 2021, Xabi released Aurrez Aurre, a live album revisiting his 20-year musical journey, solidifying his status as a global ambassador for trikitixa.