Pepe Valdez is a Peruvian/American guitarist, composer and educator based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. A versatile musician, Valdez is at ease playing straight ahead jazz, rock, pop, as well as playing folk music from Latin America.
Valdez studied privately in Lima, Perú before he left to study music abroad. He landed in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he studied Brazilian Music and Jazz at Conservatorio Souza Lima for 2 years. He then moved to the U.S and relocated to Denton, Texas where he completed both his Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance at the University of North Texas. At UNT Valdez studied jazz guitar with Fred Hamilton, Davey Mooney, Noel Johnston and Richard McLure and classical guitar with Tom Johnson. During his time at UNT Valdez won 3 DownBeat Student Music Awards for being part of ensembles, including one for leading his own quintet. The Pepe Valdez Quintet blends the traditional music of the coast of Perú with different elements of Jazz, like improvisation and the interaction between musicians.
Pepe leads and has been part of many original projects and has performed with these projects in Perú, Brazil and the U.S. Valdez is constantly busy teaching and performing and plays regularly over 150 concerts a year. Some of the projects that Valdez has lead include Radio Makonnen, a Reggae project that blended Reggae, Dub, Jazz and Rock. Valdez also lead a 10-piece orchestra for which he wrote all original instrumental music inspired in the music of the coast of Perú.
Recently Valdez leads an electric trio which performs his original music as well as adaptations of pop and rock classics to an instrumental rock setting. Valdez also leads a straight-ahead Jazz trio that focuses on playing standards from the Great American Songbook and original music. Pepe is currently working on writing new material for his first album as a leader as well as continuing working as a sideman for various projects in the DFW area.