Amaia Gabantxo is a writer, a flamenco singer and literary translator specialized in Basque literature. She currently teaches Basque language and literature and creative writing at the University of Chicago, and performs regularly in venues all over Chicago, most recently in hybrid performances that bring together flamenco and classical music. She is the most prolific translator of Basque literature to date, as well as a pioneer in the field, and has received multiple awards for her work; most recently, the prestigious OMI Writers Translation Lab award. She has published and performed on both sides of the Atlantic: in Ireland and Great Britain, the countries in which she carried out her university education, and in the US, where she has lived for the last four years.
She is currently involved in two hybrid literary/musical/performance art projects. Palo a Palo, which combines flamenco song and dance with Butoh and spoken word (in the form of translations and original work), and Soniché, where she performs with classical musicians in ensembles that hybridize flamenco and classical traditions.
A classically trained singer steeped in the Basque and Spanish song traditions, Amaia has moved towards the stranger and more sculptural realms of song, and trained and performed with flamenco legends like Segundo Falcon or El Lebrijano, and avant-garde song practitioners like Phil Minton and Jonathan Baker, collaborating with the Voice Project and the Feral Choir in the UK before arriving in the US, where she trained in Sephardic song with Carol Freeman in New York. Amaia seeks to discover and redefine the boundaries of ancient song, and create new spaces for it in the modern world.