Music: Instrument Artisan, Instrumentalist, Music Educator; Storyteller
Pepe Santana – Music of the Andes
A WINDOW TO ANDEAN TRADITIONS
Music and Instruments from the Andes Mountains
Pepe is an Ecuadorian-born musician who incessantly continues to spread his life long passion, which not only resides in the realm of architecture, but also in the sacred world of the musical traditions of the Andes Mountains.
Pepe plays over two dozen of native wind instruments (flutes, pan-pipes and whistles) and a variety of string instruments (charangos, mandolins, bandurria, tiple, guitars).
His emphasis in ancient sounds and rhythms has defined him as a true spokesperson of traditional Andean Music. He has participated in major folk festivals in the United States and Canada. Frequently lectures at Music Schools and Folk Societies in this country and abroad. In the New York Metropolitan Area, he is very active in the school system with his lecture-demonstrations. For twelve years, he participated as an artist in residence at the National Museum of the American Indian – Smithsonian Institution in New York, and has delivered numerous workshops on wind instrument making. These workshops have been well received at the New York Museum of Natural History and Hostos Community College. In addition, he has produced and directed several Andean Festivals at New York’s Lincoln Center, Town Hall and Symphony Space. In New Jersey, he performs regularly at correctional facilities and rehabilitation centers. These performances are organized by the organization “Music for All Seasons”. Pepe has also established and directed the Festival of the Andes at Waterloo Village in New Jersey. In 1995, he participated in the Apprenticeship Program of the NJSCA as a master folk musician.
Pepe is the founder and director of Group INKHAY (Quechua verb meaning, “to tend the fire”). Its members are the interpreters of the traditional music from the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. In the year 2000, Pepe Santana was the recipient of the National Merit and Title of Great Gentleman by the Ecuadorian Government. This recognition was for the outstanding and silent task of promulgating Andean Culture in the United States. In fact, he was also the first recipient out of his native country to have received the “Benjamin Carrión” medal.
Pepe has also appeared in several Television shows such as the Shining Time Station (Ch. 13), Where in the World is Carmen San Diego (Ch. 13), Visiones (NBC TV), New York Ahora (Ch. 41), and many others. Radio shows such as New York Kids (WNYC-FM), Around New York (WNYC-FM), and several talk shows for radio and television.
As a lover of his Culture and Folklore, investigator, architect, technical illustrator, and musical instrument-maker, Pepe works out of his home-studio in Stanhope, New Jersey.