OSPA performs traditional and new dance music of the Basque Homeland and worldwide community. The band’s name comes from the command form of the verb ospatu which has two meanings—Celebrate! and Scram! It’s what Basque parents said when their kids wore them out. A set of songs the band is calling “The Tree of Gernika” will celebrate the life and influence of the troubadour poet Joxe Mari Iparragirre, the Basque Country’s most celebrated nineteenth century figure. Iparragirre was a teenage combatant in the Carlist Wars, a participant in the Revolution of 1848 in France, a traveling actor in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, and an exile in Argentina and Chile. His poems and songs, recited and sung to this day by Basques worldwide, were published in 2020 for the first time in English translations done by David Romtvedt and Xabier Irujo. OSPA’s performance will present the poetry and songs in both English and Basque in the context of a life shaped by the end of Basque political autonomy in Europe and the founding of Basque communities throughout the American intermountain West, including those in Rock Springs and Buffalo, Wyoming.
Supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Partial funding is from Natrona County School District No. 1, the Wyoming Community Foundation – Casper Area, and the Wyoming Arts Council through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature.