His first musical studies were completed at the San Sebastian Conservatoire. After which he carried out further studies in piano, organ, musicology and musical pedagogy in the United States.
After having lived in this country (Fulton, New York) for 18 years, he returned to the Basque Country in 1975, and won the title of resident organist of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro in San Sebastian.
In 1985, upon celebrating the third centenary of J. Sebastian Bach, he interpreted his entire works for organ in a series of cycles of concerts throughout different parts of Spain. He also represented Spain in the Europalia, celebrated in Belgium the same year.
In 1990 he took part in the recording of the selective sound documentation, The Organs of Cavaille-Coll, about the work of the great builder of romantic period organs. In 1992 he was invited to take part in various musical festivals in Spain and abroad with the complete works of Cesar Franck, to mark the occasion of the first centenary of his death.
A soloist of international prestige, he has performed with the National Orchestra of Spain, the Spanish Television Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Basque Country and with the Orchestra of the Bayonne Basque Coast. In 2001 he published his last disc, the only one of his recordings entirely of the organ.
Jose Manuel Azkue died in Donostia-San Sebastian on the 19th of December, 2008 at 81 years of age.