A musical multilinguist, multi-award winning and 2016 GRAMMY® Nominated Percussionist Christian Pepin is a versatile musician that embodies the soul of a percussionist that inherently stirs the human spirit. From his supersonic slaps to the thunderous open tones and heavy hitting bass notes, the young Christian Pepin shows perceptiveness and adoration for Latin and World music. His keen sense, gifted interpretation of music, and the influence of the New York streets have allowed Christian to translate his bliss. Whether it be on the stage or set to Avant-garde Jazz, Salsa, Latin Jazz, he can make his drums speak fluently to any listener.
From his humble roots in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Christian Pepin has played music all his life. His father, a gifted musician in his own right, and mother, a talented vocalist, gave him a set of drums at the tender age of six. As he became older, he made the transition to timbale, then congas, and onto bongo all while perfecting his musical craft. Music is innately a dominant part of the Pepin family: his great-grandfather Toño Pepin, his Grandfather Papo Pepin, and his cousin Bobby Allende. All musical icons and legends in their own right. Music breathes life into the soul of Christian Pepin that sustains him as a musician.
He moved to Spokane, WA from New York City with his family during his teenage years and continued his studies. He learned to improvise many styles such as Rumba, which helped shape and develop Christian's melodic, versatile, and danceable sound.
In 2001, Christian moved to Seattle where he continued to develop his unique sound as well as a strong following. During that time, he excelled in Marching Band and went on to play all instruments in the Battery, also known as the 'Drum Line'. Christian fell in love with a third bass drum for its complex and challenging odd time. Later In mid-2005, he was asked to join the Cascade Marching Band touring all over the U.S.
In 2008, he started touring with many Latin, World, Rock and R&B artist where he began to develop a very versatile style of playing. Being able to adjust to many types of situations playing each with class and sophistication.
In 2012, Christian moved to San Francisco where he was asked to fly down to record the Grammy Winning album entitled "PMO" Pacific Mambo Orchestra.
Since then, he has and continues to tour all over the world. He has performed and/or recorded with the likes of Poncho Sanchez, Tommy Igoe, Nestor Torres, Pete Escovedo, Steve Turre, Sheila E., Jarobi White, Trevor Hall.
As well as major Legendary Latin artists such as
Fania All Star Roberto Roena, Jose Alberto "El Canario", Tito Nieves, Michael Stuart,
Tony Vega, Tito Rojas, Ray De La Paz, Spanish Harlem Orchestra and many other artists.
Christian Pepin: Selected Highlights
- 2014 GRAMMY® Award Winning Album | Percussionist w/ Pacific Mambo Orchestra ( U.S.A. )
- 2016 GRAMMY® Nominee w/ La Cuneta Son Machine ( Nicaragua )
- Early improvisational ‘on the job training’ playing in Jazz; Cuban and Salsa bands including
- FANIA All Star Roberto Roena; Jose Alberto "EL Canario"; Joe Santiago; Karl Perazzo ( Carlos Santana ); Carlos Cascante; Latin Expression; La Fuerza Gigante and many more.
- Has toured the world extensively and collaborated with some of the today's artists such as
- Trevor Hall 2016; Tommy Igoe 2012-Present; La Cuneta Son Machin 2015-Present; Mulatu Astatke 2017-Present;
- Jazz Festivals: Capitol Jazz Festival; Karmeb Fuhrt Zum Festival; San Jose Jazz Festival; Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival; Maui; La Paz Festival Jazz International Bolivar; Sedona Jazz Fest; Atlanta Jazz Fest; Fillmore Jazz among others...
- Symphonic: Has performed with the Pacific Lutheran University Symphony; Pacific Lutheran University Percussion Ensemble; Spokane Symphony; Seattle Symphony; Eastern Washington University Symphony; The Gary Gibson Steel Drum Ensemble; Cascade Marching Band; Blue Devils.
- Recordings ( Drums & Percussion ): Pacific Mambo Orchestra; La Cuneta Son Machin; Michael Starita; Jarobi White (A Tribe Called Quest); Trevor Hall; Lary Barilleau; David Jackson & W.O.W; Julio Bravo; Montuno Swing; Aaron Routtenburg; Fred Randolph; Michael O'Neal; Kenny Washington; Santos Perdidos; Latin Rhythm Boys; Braulio Barrera; Orq. Borinquen; Armando Cordoba Project; Maya Carina etc.
- Movies: HBO Documentary: Mariela Castro's March: Cuba's LGBT Revolution
We are Orquesta Bémbe
Originally created and produced by 2X Award Winning Percussionist and GRAMMY@ Nominated artist Christian Pepin and Berklee College of Music Graduate and Grand Pianist Erick Peralta. The concept is very simple, a 10 piece band with the sound and elegant sophistication of a big orchestra. A very unique sound when it pertains to Salsa, Latin Jazz, Traditional Cuban and Tropical Pop.
The band is led by Co-Leader Christian Pepin & Erick Peralta who handle the roles of Percussionist, and Pianist. Erick a fierce piano player who some call...
" A Chick Corea infused with Monk, and influences of Papo Luca!"
A true gem and a very important member of the band.
Along with Bembé, you have an all star rhythm section...
On Congas, GRAMMY® Award Winning Percussionist Carlos Caro. Carlos is a world renowned percussionist who performs with Los Tigres del Norte along with many others. He is considered one of todays top Percussionist in the world.
On Bongo, Mr. Oscar Soltero. One of the top percussionist in the Bay Area.
On Bass, you have Cuba's very own Ernesto Mazar Kindelán. A talented Composer/Arranger and master of his own style and interpretation when it pertains to Latin. Jazz and other styles of Music.
On Sax/Flut, we have the great Galen Green. One of the Bays top Jazz/Latin Jazz musicians, who is also a great Arranger/Composer.
On Trombones we have multi GRAMMY® Award Winner Mike Rinta. A well respected Trombonist as well as Arrangers and Composers. Tombonist for
Sly and The Family Stone among many others.
On Trumpet, Mr. Bill Ortega III. A well respected Trumpeter/Vocalist and Musical Director for Orq. Borinquen.
On Vocals we have Juan Luis Perez a multi-talented vocalist, producer, songwriter and one of the best vocalist in the entire Bay Area.
All these amazing musicians make the magic to Orquesta Bembé and I assure you, it's a sound you'll never forget. Look out for this 9 piece ensemble. Currently they're in the studio recording their first full length album coming in 2018!
Musical Director, Timbal / Christian Pepin
Co-Director, Keyboard / Eric Peralta
Vocals / Juan Luis Perez
Bass / Ernesto Mazar
Congas / Carlos Caro
Bongo / Oscar Soltero
Trumpet / Bill Ortega III
Trombone / Mike Rinta
Sax / Galen Green
Drum & Percussion lessons are available in the
San Francisco Bay Area.
CALL US we also teach ONLINE via Skype!
Types of instruments include...
- Drum Set
and other minor hand percussion instruments.
ALL INSTRUMENTS CAN BE USED FOR ALL THESE STYLES OF MUSIC SUCH AS...
( Rock, Jazz, Latin, Funk, Blues, Soul, Inide, R&B, Pop, Folklore, Salsa & so much more... )
Our Drum Studios are located at 1353 Bush st. aka ( Music City Rehearsals) in San Francisco.
Click on the Yelp link below to see why others are trusting and learning so much from our talented educator Mr. Christian Pepin, help teach your loved ones or yourself how to play Drums and Percussion and what they can expect to share to the world.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The Pepin Productions Team