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Joseph Pepe Danza
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
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Joseph 'Pepe' Danza is an electrifying percussionist and multi- instrumentalist. A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, he began classical guitar studies at age eight, and started his professional career at thirteen. He continued his studies in guitar as well as in piano, composition, music history and the physics of sound at the National Conservatory. All along he was naturally immersed in his native Candombe rhythms, the national groove of Uruguay and a fundamental element in the identity of all Uruguayans.

Pepe developed an early keen interest in world music and different expressions of spirituality which eventually led him to spend three years in Japan studying Shakuhachi and Buddhism , another two years in India and Sri Lanka for Indian music, Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism, Brazil for studies in Afro-Brazilian practices, Samba and Bossa Nova music, and shorter periods in Indonesia (studying gamelan), Korea and the Philippines. He also has lived several years in Europe and the USA, performing and recording Latin , Jazz and Contemporary music with a number of local ensembles, and studying systems such as Sufism and the Gurdjieff Work.

Moving to Canada in 1989 he specialized in the study of world percussion while quickly establishing himself as one of the foremost drummers and band leaders on the West Coast. His credits include performances with South Indian master drummer Trichy Shankaran, singers Ann Mortifee and Christine Ducan, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and concert tours throughout Europe, Asia and New Zealand. In his extensive touring he has shared the stage with the likes of Ani DiFranco, Oscar Lopez, the Dalai Lama and David Lindley. Pepe is the leader of his own groups: Drum Prayers, a multi-cultural drumming ensemble, and the recently formed Roots/Blues group The Blues Poets. He also tours as a solo artist.

He has been featured for the last four years as a headlining performer and workshop leader at the Seattle World Rhythm Festival. one of the largest drumming Festivals in the U.S.A.

As a teacher Pepe has been working with Vancouver's School Board, teaching Samba music to children of all ages and workshops for music teachers. He is presently working with the youth Marimba group Kunaka. He also conducts group and private percussion lessons for adults at home, and travels across British Columbia giving two or three day intensive workshops.
Pepe is also an active studio musician, composer, arranger, producer and Musical Director, presently working and touring with jazz-funk supergroup Soulstream, as well as with world music group JouTou, Tambura Rasa, the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, First Nations choral group M’Girl , Latin/Pop group Pacifika, and Jazz/World music fusion group Koan. For four years he was Artistic Director for the Vancouver Sacred Music Festival. He has received countless award nominations including Musician of the Year in 1999 (West Coast Music Awards), Juno for his work with Asza, Leo awards for his work in film music, and Jessie awards for his theater scores.

Music, Video, Image and Lyric Samples:

YouTube Videos:

Joseph Pepe Danza
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