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(PHOTOS) Buffalo’s Ospa plays Basque music at Gillette’s Rockpile Museum

David Romtvedt (from left), Caitlin Romtvedt and Kevin Carr (Mary Stroka/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Buffalo-based band Ospa is on tour performing music of the Basque Country and immigrant communities of the American West.

Kevin Carr, Daniel Steinberg, David Romtvedt, Caitlin Romtvedt and Margo Brown’s first stop was Gillette’s Rockpile Museum, where they played for about 50 people Jan. 5.

David Romtvedt, who’s Brown’s husband and Caitlin’s father, led that audience through a tour of Basque history and culture and the poems of Basque troubadour Joxe Mari Iparragirre. David himself is an award-winning poet who was the poet laureate of Wyoming from 2003 to 2011.

David Romtvedt (left) speaks about Basque culture and language. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

The Basque Country consists of seven historic provinces in the Pyrenees mountains along the border between France and Spain, and the Basque language is among the oldest languages of Europe, according to The Basque Cultural Institute.

Musical selections from Ospa, whose name comes from the verb ospatu, which means “celebrate” and “scram,” included “Agurra” and “Gineta.”

The band members briefly introduced themselves after their performances.

Carr, who played fiddle, alboka and boha said it’s a “true story” that he was kidnapped by fairies on his way to Ireland.

According to his bio on his website, in 1974, his VW camper’s engine failed on a beach in County Sligo in Ireland, which he discovered is famous in Ireland for the experience of “faery music.”

“Truthfully it was the engine failure … and my subsequent rescue by friends who introduced me to one of the richest veins of traditional music in the west of Ireland that changed my life,” he said.

Kevin Carr plays fiddle, alboka and boha. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Steinberg, who played keyboard, said he’s Jewish and from New York and loves studying other cultures.

He and Carr are among the founders of the contradance band Hillbillies from Mars. Steinberg performs square and swing dance music as well, according to the Hillbillies from Mars website.

Daniel Steinberg plays keyboard in the band. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

David played trikitixa and accordion, and Brown played percussion.

Caitlin, who played fiddle and saxophone and danced fandango, said she wants to study for a year in the Basque Country. She has studied music and culture in Brazil and Cuba, according to her bio on her website.

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