Joseph ‘Pepe’ Danza

Joseph ‘Pepe’ Danza is an electrifying percussionist and multi- instrumentalist. A native of MontevideoUruguay, 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), Koreaand 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 DiFrancoOscar Lopez, the Dalai Lama andDavid Lindley. Pepe is the leader of his own groups: Drum Prayers, a multi-cultural drumming ensemble and The Upbeats, and African and Afro-Latin drumming ensemble formed with his students

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.


Pepe Danza – Seattle World Rhythm