“For some years now Pepe Jaramillo has been one of the most popular artistes in Mexico, and in addition, he has performed in various cities of South America and the United States. He was born in the state of Chihuahua, that part of Mexico which contains the upper stretches of the western Sierra Madre. his love of music and his talent for playing it seem to have been inherited from his mother ; at any rate, Pepe began playing the piano when he was only four, working at first entirely by ear, but later – after he had grown up – studying at the Conservatory of Music in Mexico City. Like so many parents, Pepe’s father and mother looked on music as a hazardous career, and, while they were happy that their son should make it his hobby, they wanted him to become a dentist. To please them Pepe studied dentistry at the University of Mexico, but after a couple of years he decided this could never be his profession. As his parents insisted that he get some kind of degree, he attended the school of banking, eventually returning to Chihuahua with a degree in banking and secretarial practice.
Pepe worked for a couple of years with a British mining company, spending most of his vacation in Mexico City and, when that job finished, he went back to the capital. There a stroke of luck occurred which changed his entire life. He was having some drinks with a few friends in the bar of the Ritz, the most fashionable hotel in Mexico City, when they noticed there was a piano in the room. “Why don’t you play it?” asked his friends, so Pepe sat down and started to entertain them. “Presently the manager came over,” recalls Pepe “and asked if I was a professional pianist. “No,” I told him, “just playing for my own amusement.” When the manager asked if he would like a job performing at the hotel, Pepe thought he was kidding, but decided to keep the joke up. “Well,” he said, “if you can pay me what I want, maybe I will”. To his astonishment the manager replied, “Come in tomorrow and we’ll talk things over”.
that is how Pepe Jaramillo became a professional pianist, and for the next three years he performed at he Ritz bar. During that time he also appeared regularly on Radio and TV, as well as being in demand to accompany various singers who visited Mexico City. (He has worked with a great many of the most famous Latin-American and Spanish artists). When Pepe finally left the Ritz, it was to go into a new club – El Quid a very smart restaurant-bar, where he played right up to the moment he would like to see something of the world outside South and North America. After coming to Europe he spent a few months in Paris, then crossed the Channel and come to London early in 1958. Since then he has appeared on radio and TV in this country – including ABC-TV’s weekly ‘Sentimental Journey’ programme – and made his recording debut here with his popular ‘Mexico Tropicale’ LP. Since then he has made many successful records.”
And – a very nice grooving selection of bongo-laden, guitar strumming, piano tinkling latin rhythms they indeed are – mmmmmm – NICE !!