“If a conga could talk and sing, it would certainly be the voice of Christian Pepin, for he speaks through his instrument. Equally fluent in Jazz, Salsa and other Latin and World idioms, his fluid versatility sets him apart. Christian’s total command of his instrument allows him a freedom of expression that is at once captivating and liberating, powerful and genuine.”

A musical multi-linguist 2014 GRAMMY® Award Winner 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 bongó 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. as well as the likes of other Latin artist such as 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

 

-Early improvisational ‘on the job training’ playing in Jazz, Cuban and Salsa bands including Roberto Roena, Jose Alberto "EL Canario", Joe Santiago, Karl Perazzo, Carlos Cascante, Latin Expression, La Fuerza Gigante.

 

-Has toured the world extensively and collaborated with some of the today's top musicians.

 

-Jazz Festivals: Capitol Jazz Festival; San Jose Jazz Festival; Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival; Maui; La Paz Festival Jazz International Bolivar; Sedona; Atlanta; Fillmore Jazz and much more

 

-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.

 

-Recordings: Pacific Mambo Orchestra; La Cuneta Son Machin; 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 Documentry: Mariela Castro's March: Cuba's LGBT Revolution

 

Artist History

Below you will see a full roster of highly awarded Artist Christian has had the honor of performed, recorded, Toured and/or shared the stage with. 

 

Artist

  • Juan De Marcos Gonzalez & Afro Cuban All Stars - 3x Grammy Nominated
  • Oscar Hernandez - Multiple Grammy Winner
  • Charlie Aponte - Singer For El Gran Combo, Multiple Grammy Winner 
  • Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band - Grammy Nominated
  • John Santos - 7x Grammy Nominee
  • Tito Puente Jr. - Grammy Winner 
  • Joe Santiago - Legendary Bassist, Multiple Grammy Winner
  • Victoria Sanabria - World Renown Jibaro Singer
  • Ismael Miranda - Fania All Star Legend, Multiple Grammy Winnter
  • Jose Alberto " El Canario " - Grammy Winner, Salsa Legend 
  • Arturo O'Farrill - 2x Grammy Nominee, 2009 Grammy Winner for Ba.L.J.A. 
  • Steve Turre -  Art Blakey, Ray Charles, Chucho Valdes
  • Nestor Torres - Grammy Nominated, Latin Grammy Winner
  • Wilson "Chembo" Corniel - 2009 Grammy Nominee, Larry Harlow
  • Jerry Gonzalez - Multiple Grammy Nominations, Fort Apache 
  • Marlow Rosado - 2013 Grammy Winner
  • Karl Perazzo - Master Percussionist, 16x Grammy Award Winner, Carlos Santana
  • Carlos Cascante - Spanish Harlem Orchestra Lead Singer, Grammy Winner
  • Willy Torres - Spanish Harlem Orchestra Lead Singer, 3x Grammy Winner
  • Marco Bermudez - Spanish Harlem Orchestra Lead Singer, 2x Grammy Winner
  • Ray De La Paz - Spanish Harlem Orchestra Lead Singer, 3x Grammy Winner
  • Michael Stuart - Grammy Nominee
  • Tio Nieves - Tito Nieves Orq., Conjunto Classico
  • Maelo Ruiz - Maelo Ruiz Orq., Pedro Conga
  • John Calloway - 3x Grammy Nominee
  • Pete Escovedo, Juan Escovedo, Sheila E
  • Andy Vargas - 12x Grammy Winner, Carlos Santana 
  • Tommy Igoe - World Renown Drummer, BirdLand Big Band NYC
  • James Genus - Bass Player for Saturday Night Live NYC
  • Kenny Washington - World Renowned Vocalist 
  • Drew Zingg - Lead Guitarist/Musical Director of Steely Dan
  • Raul Pineda - World Renown Drummer, Chucho Valdes
  • Andy Gonzalez - Legendary Bassist, Fort Apache
  • Jorge Gonzalez - Master Percussionist, S.H.O., Ruben Blades
  • George Delgado - Master Percussionist, S.H.O.
  • Doug Beavers - Master Trombonist, S.H.O., Eddie Palmieri, Titanes Del Trombon
  • Cristian Tumulan - Master Pianist, Pacific Mambo Orchestra
  • Ralph lrizarry - Timbal Legend, Ruben Blades, Ray Barreto, Timbalaya 
  • Joey De’Leon - Master Percussionist, Poncho Sanchez
  • Julio Jauregui - Master Pianist
  • Louie Romero y Grupo Mascote - Legendary Percussionist
  • Jose Mangual Jr. - Master Percussionist, Hector Lavoe
  • Cristian Rivera - Latin Percussion, Willie Colon
  • Pepe Espinoza - Master Percussionist, Afro-Cuban All Stars
  • Tony Moreaux - Master Percussionist, Afro-Cuban All Stars
  • Alberto Pantaloon - Master Bassist, Afro-Cuban All Stars
  • Pete Nator and Associates - Master Trumpeter, Grammy Winner
  • Jerry Madera - Legendary Bassist, Mambo Legends, Grammy Nominated
  • Ricky Gonzalez - Master Pianist, Marc Anthony
  • Isaac Jones - Gospel Singer
  • Robin D. Henderson - Gospel Singer
  • David Jackson - R&B group One Accord
  • Jose Guaman’s La Fuerza Gigante 
  • Lefty Perez - Salsa Singer
  • Hector Ray - Salsa Singer
  •  
  • Bands
  • Pacific Mambo Orchestra
  • La Cunete Son Machine
  • Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
  • VibraSON
  • Armando Cordoba Project
  • Son Mayor
  • La Fuerza Gigante
  • Orquesta De la Isla
  • Tommy Igoe Big Band
  • Tommy Igoe Sextet
  • Luky Mambo 7
  • Mazacote
  • Santos Perdidos
  • ChaChing!
  • Carabali
  • Avance
  • N’Rumba
  • Montuno Swing
  • Osuan y Los Que Son
  • Los Angeles de Peru
  • Gary Gibson Steal Drum Band Ensemble
  • Willie Alvarez y Los Locos Del Ritmo
  • Steve Guasch and New Era
  • Grupo 5
  • Edgardo Cambon y Candela
  • Edgardo Cambon y Latido
  • Latin Rhythm Boys
  • Tor Dietrichson and Mambo Cadillac
  • Michael Hershman Jazz Trio
  • Peter Schmeckles “Santos” Ensemble
  • Ricky Flores y El Conjointo Chevere
  • Jay Holcomb Jazz Trio
  • Blair Helsing & Echo Beach
  • Alfredo Chavez Trio
  • Papo Medina's Latin Expression
  • Grupo Niche
  • Grupo Gale
  • Pedro Vargas y TradiCuba
  • Pedro Vargas y Grupo Ashe
  • Amadon
  • Rafael Tranquilino Blues Band
  • Lary Barilleau and the Latin Jazz Collective
  • Fred Hoadley's Sonando
  • Rich Wetzel and his Groovin Higher Orchestra
  • Sonora la Rebelion
  • Orquesta El Momento