Arego family

1933 - Vic (Victor) Arego on guitar and Marie Arego on accordion - Basque Picnic , Mode Country Club, Boise ID. 

Benito Arego and Eulogia Arginchona, the family parents, arrived to Boise around the years 1905-1906 coming from Elantxobe, Bizkaia. They opened and run several Boarding Houses in Boise during the golden years of the Basque immigration to Idaho. In one of those Arego boarding houses, Victor  Arego grew up among many siblings.

Looks like, Victor was a natural born entertainer, and he played accordion, guitars, almost any instrument he could take out. He had the chance to travel through his music all over the world to different places. But mainly was known among the Basque people of Boise.

Victor was full of music, even after losing an eye in a car accident, he kept playing all those instruments. Jim Echeverria, his nephew, believed that Vic could read some music and also played by ear. Victor had the influence of his family because all of them used to play some instrument, and actually were very good players.

His brother Urbano Arego played the piano accordion and the other brother Frank the trumpet. The youngest brother John, could play the piano, even after he lost three fingers in a job accident. Victor’s sister Marie played a piano accordion which had her name inscribed on it. Marie's twin sisters, Antonita and Antonia, mastered the piano after nine years of lessons. They used to play at  Basque social events, and they played duets and the jotas on the piano. The youngest sister, Olivia, also played the accordion1.

All the Arego’s could speak very good Basque and it can be heard in the recordings they use to do in the family boarding house on State Street, in 1940s.

1From Jim Echeverria oral interview, done by Patty Miller in 2005. BMCC, oral interview collection.

2Arego family recording made at the boarding house on State Street – Boise, Idaho in the early 1940’s.

Marie Arego with her accordion.

Tonita and Ann Arego in front of the family Boarding house.

Arego sisters and brother.

1942, August, 28 - The Idaho Statesman, Vic Arego playing for Basque people.

1926,  August, 19 - Arego sisters playing music.

Audio Recording: 
Arego Family, Maritxu lirics, 2.
Arego Family, Instrumental track, 2.