Members of the Academy

Lete, Xabier

Poet and singer-songwriter

Xabier Lete Bergaretxe (Oiartzun 1944 – San Sebastián, 2010) was already a regular contributor to the Zeruko Argia magazine before reaching the age of 20. He was one of the main promoters of Ez Dok Amairu along with Mikel Laboa, Joxean Artze, Benito Lertxundi, J. A. Irigarai, Julen Lekuona and Lourdes Iriondo. Sculptor Jorge Oteiza chose the name of the band with the aim of “creating a Basque school that linked singing, the world of aesthetics, form, culture and literature” (Aristi, 2002, 40).

Xabier Lete says that it started “By chance. When I was 20 or 21 and wrote articles for Zeruko Argia, I had started to write poetry, and as a result of that, also by chance, I met two people who would be the founding members of Ez Dok Amairu: Joxean Artze and Julen Lekuona. I started helping to organise song festivals and writing lyrics for Lourdes Iriondo, for Benito Lertxundi. Also by chance, on 26th March 1966, in Segura and at 5 in the afternoon, I had to sing because a member of the band had fallen ill. I had two or three songs prepared and I also sang a few bertsos (improvised songs)". His career as a singer-songwriter started on that day.

He published his first book of poems in 1968: Egunetik egunera orduen gurpilean, catalogued as social poetry. Bigarren poema liburua (1974) is a work in which a nihilist and pessimistic tone are dominant and where death is the main subject.

Encouraged by Lourdes Iriondo, Xabier Lete established himself as a singer-songwriter. The 1976 album made with Lourdes Iriondo includes the songs Errota zahar maitea, Nafarroa arragoa and Lore bat, zauri bat.

After Ez Dok Amairu split, from 1965 to 1978 he released, with Antton Valverde, two albums with new versions of classic bertsos. In addition to poems and songs, he also wrote plays. In 1977 he published, with Eugenio Arocena, the work Antzerkia deuseztik izatera, which includes the play Txirritaren astolasterra. In 1978 he withdrew from stage performances and in 1981 he published the book of poems Urrats desbideratuak.

In the 80s he entered politics in the Department of Culture of the Regional Government of Gipuzkoa, first as its Director and later as Advisor. After this period he released two albums: Eskeintza and Hurbil iragana. In 1992 he published his anthology of poems Biziaren ikurrak.

In 2009 he received the Euskadi Saria Award for the work Egunsentiaren esku izoztuak (2008).

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