Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pepe Jaramillo - South of the Border

Liner Notes:
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.

Click here to download the album.


  1. Thanks for this post. By chance you might have Pepe Jaramillo's MEXICANA HOLIDAY. Thank you very much.

  2. Hi Dado, Sorry to reply so late.
    I'm glad you like the post.
    Sorry I don't have Mexicana Holiday. If I find it I'll see what I can do.

  3. wow nice information!!! i am very happy when i did see your blog.Really it's very nice information. I like your site!! I invite you to take a tour on my dayodental website for more details at Dentist In Mexico

  4. Have just been going thru some of my old LP and what do I find but 'Mexicana Holiday' a UK pressing from EMI, it's in really good condition and I'm digitising it right now. Would you like a copy?

  5. Hi to the previous post!
    Thank you very much for your offer. I haven't come across 'Mexicana Holiday' at all. There seems to be some interest in it so if you don't mind I would like a copy. Thanks for your hard work!

  6. Great Website Sir, please keep uploading those rare and fast disappearing gems like Pepe Jaramillo Album's, So much exotica out there hasn't been discovered, Hopefully this site will change that! MJ.

  7. I loved it, this record brought so many child hood memories, these was the background music in many latin american coffee bar back in the 60's, and in some australian coffeee bars up till the mid 70's, in the days when they used to make cappuccinos and cafe lates with Nescafe.

  8. In the 60's, Pepe appeared as the support act for the popular Australian band The Seekers, in Sydney. Unfortunately, no one knew of him or his style of music, all expecting the folk style of The Seekers music, and was ungraciously booed in the latter stages of his performance till his act finished. I was in my teens, and it was one of the the first concerts I had attended.