- Biografia euskeraz-

- Biografía en castellano -

- Biografia en italiano -

Balen Lopez de Munain
(Bilbao, Basque Country, 1958)

Before setting out on his artistic career, Balen Lopez de Munain studied guitar at the Conservatorio Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga in Bilbao. Simultaneously, he also studied under Francisco Santibáñez and later, chamber music under Bienvenido Rodríguez. During this time he attended seminars hosted by José Luis Rodrigo, professor of the Real Conservatorio Superior de Madrid, as well as studying harmony with Francisco Escudero.

His interest in traditional and roots music and ethno-jazz led him to work with musicians like the Italian pianist Antonio Breschi, with whom he has very often toured and recorded (on Breschi’s Mezulari, Al Kamar, Orekan and Irish Portrait), as well as the Moroccan fiddler Jamal Ouassini and the multiethnic group Zyriab. During the nineties he developed his style in terms that included original self-composed music.

He founded a trio with the Italian bass and double-bass player Sergio Candotti (Trieste) and the percussionist Mario N’Goma,
of Angolan origin. He toured Europe on many occasions and in 1995 recorded his debut album Laberintoa, which included a notable contribution by Kepa Junkera. Laberintoa was first released in Italy and later in the Basque Country by the Aztarna label (AZ002, 1997).

At the end of the 1990’s and beginning of the 2000’s he focused on a more specifically Basque repertoire and founded a quartet with Salvatore Maiore (Sardinia), double-bass and cello, Geoff Warren (England), flute and soprano sax, and Joxan Goikoetxea (Basque Country), accordion. In 2005 they recorded Lotuneak, released by Freecom in Italy and by Aztarna
(AZ0014). The album was toured at the most important festivals of etho-jazz and folk. Critics drew attention to the originality of the music, whether traditional Basque or original compositions, and likened the arrangements to chamber music.

Balen Lopez de Munain has been invited to play at several guitar festivals and is recognised for the originality of his repertoire, which often includes works by Basque composers.Amongst the musicians he has played with are the guitarist Franco Morone (Italy), the Irish accordion player Máirtín O’Connor, the trikitilari (Basque accordion player) Kepa Junkera and the Basque traditional group Alboka, with whom he has toured Italy on many occasions. He has also been active in Italian ethnic and traditional music projects like those of Maria Moramarco & Uaragniaun (Apulia).

He also has a Master’s degree as a guitar soloist from the Evaristo Felice Dall’Abaco state conservatory in Verona, the city
where he lives. The subject of his thesis was the origins of the Basque guitar repertoire. At present he teaches guitar and musical education at a number of state secondary schools in the province of Verona, Italy.

, Balen Lopez de Munain
AZ002, Aztarna, 1997, Euskal Herria

Lotuneak, Balen Lopez de Munain
FRFO0305 Freecom, 2005, Italia,
AZ014 Aztarna, Euskal Herria



Zeru horren infernuak - William Shakespeare - Sonetoak,
Joxan Goikoetxea
AZ017 Aztarna, 2015, Euskal Herria



U diavole e l’acqua sante,
Maria Moramarco & Uaragniaun
Fy 8128 Felmay 2007, Italia

Balen Lopez de Munain´s compositions recorded by other artists:

WDR big band Colonia
Massimo Morganti Michele Corcella
Jules Buckley - Diana Torto

ArrangiaMenti, Massimo Morganti
William Cunlife, Martin Wind, Joe LaBarbera,
Diana Torto, Scott Robinson
NJ017 Notami Jazz 2017, Italia



Segi Aztarna...