- Category: PA 2012
Musician, composer and storyteller Pedro Espi-Sanchis, was born in Spain and went to live in France with his family at the age of eight. He came to South Africa in 1972 as a professional musician, where he was introduced to African music by Andrew Tracey and began what became his lifelong career specializing in instrumental African music.
Espi-Sanchis became well-known in South Africa as “Pedro the Music Man” in the long-running Kideotelevision series in the 1990s. He was also the music director for two series of School TV, creating African and world-music inspired songs for the Pezooli puppets.
Espi-Sanchis plays numerous instruments including the mbira, the Xitende bow and the Lekgodilo flute, on which he is one of the best players in the world. Some of his career achievements have been establishing the practical African music programme at the University of Cape Town and being the Head of the Music Department at the Giyani College of Education in the Limpopo.
During the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Espi-Sanchis founded the education project, the Vuvuzela Orchestra, which saw the maligned vuvuzela make real music and create a link between music education and the momentous sport event. (Seewww.vuvuzelaorchestra.co.za).
Espi-Sanchis often performs at conferences, schools and festivals in Europe and the USA. He has performed at various festivals including the WOMADs and Poetry Africa. He also performs with South African traditional musicians, especially Madosini, with whom he enjoys an international career which has taken them to France, Germany, Colombia and Zanzibar.
Passionate about musical storytelling, Espi-Sanchis creates and performs a new children's show every year. Last year's show was The Mermaid from Zanzibar. (See his blog for more information: http://pedromusicman.blogspot.com).