“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