Pepe and his Drums - Percussion is the kinetic vigour
Percussion is the kinetic vigour, hands in a constant movement beating the surface, playing the notes, looking for the harmony and keeping a rhythm.
That’s how we can resume Pedro Peña’s life (Valencia, 1969), known better as Pepe , devoted his life to music first to the act of percussion and singing came in second place. His concern on searching for new afrocaribbean beats, has taken him to be an apprentice of the new beats, always merged by the African rhythms, absorbing the possibilities of each note that any percussion instrument that get to his hands, with an extend knowledge of the folklore even if it is the Venezuelan, Colombian, Dominican, Cuban or Puerto rican. The only way to break the human barrier of spoken language as communication and making the beat the only way to be understood.
Pedro Pepe Peña is possessor of a solid career through his 25 years in the music business as a percussionist and a singer. Born in a family of musicians as well, his first musical chords were listened by him from the voice of his mother Nohemí Bermudez at an early age, singer of Folkloric Venezuelan music, and the first musical notes came from the hands of his father Daniel Peña an outstanding harper, born and raced in such a musical family gave him the tools to accomplish what he has and taking music as his destiny and career.
In 1998 “Pepe” started an afrovenezuelan folkloric band called “Tambores Calientes” in a way of extending the Afrovenezuelan roots in our country a commitment that he took as his.
With “Tambores Calientes” Pepe started to explore the new ways of rhythms already having about a decade dedicated to the music been also with the band called Budare y Leña in wich he participated in some Caribbean festivals.
As a young performer pepe showed his true interest and maturity in the music business and he was called to form part of the legendary and folkloric band “Experimental Madera” that had the best percussionists of the generation, he had the chance to tour with them in countries such as France and Spain.
Pepe always kept being curious in the search of new rhythms and ways of improving his knowledge about the music never resting and always looking for new ways to learn a lot more, that took him to participate with national and international orchestras.
As a symbol of the young generations of percussionist pepe has brought to his natal city (Valencia, Carabobo) the pride of being one of the most outstanding percussionists nationally.
He had the excellent chance to find himself a master in the right moment and that is the way that he says it, his teacher and good friend Fernando Colina, international percussionist and singer then he also had the opportunity to be taught by Luis Viloria also an outstanding percussionist that in the actual moments he is in a band called “Chaworo” of the Venezuelan singer Orlando Poleo right now being one of the most privileged percussionist in Europe.
And he endend polishing his style and skills by the hand of Eduardo Pimentel, then pepe found himself in a Caribbean music festival in wich he met the tambores bata around the year of 1992, called Iyá, Itótele y Okonkolo. Been one of the best secrets kept by the afrocuban musician as a mistery and enchanted way of playing their drums pepe had to pass for several filters until he could finally really approach to them and their secrets also involved with the Yoruba religion.
That’s when he decided to search for the appropriate teachers and the best to teach him this wonderful and deep secret of the tambores bata, and that’s how he met his best teachers Rafael “El Niño” Molina and Miguel Urbina “Miguito”.
Angel Bolaños gave him wise advice on the concepts of the bata drums and of course his mentor and principal guide Pedro Pablo Valdez “Aspirina”. That started him in his true devotion to the bata drums, beats and rhythms and his love for the Yoruba religion as well and taught him that by the way of playing the bata drums you can awake this gods.