Amathongo is a Cape Town based World Music project which mixes traditional African styles with jazz and a great variety of other music genres.

Pedro Espi-Sanchis

Pedro came to South Africa many years ago as a musician playing Mexican, French, Spanish and Latin American music. Not long after his arrival he was introduced to African music by the ethnomusicologist Dr Andrew Tracey and began what became his lifelong career, learning and teaching in this field.  Over many years Pedro specialized in instrumental African music and in bringing traditional African instruments such as the Lekgodilo flute and the Tshikona pipe ensemble into schools.      

With younger children Pedro uses stories to introduce those instruments and he has evolved methods which take even beginners directly to the experience of creating real music on home made instruments.    

Pedro became well-known in South Africa as “Pedro the Music Man” from the long-running Kideo television series in the 1990's and he produced and performed many plays over the years. Pedro has performed at many storytelling festivals including “Beyond the Border” in Wales, "Baboro" in Ireland and in Milan, Guadalajara and Grenoble. In the last couple of years he has also performed in "Patchwork", a puppet play for very young children which has performed at the Baxter theatre, in Gauteng and in Italy. The play will be performing in Iran later this year.                                                                                 

In the field of music Pedro established the practical African music program at the College of Music at UCT.  Later establishing and directing the Music Department at the Giyani College of Education in Limpopo.   He continues to run extensive teacher-training programs for education authorities and NGOs across Southern Africa and worldwide at universities and colleges of education.  Pedro's unique approach to the integration of traditional African instruments into music education has brought him to address many conferences worldwide including two ESF funded conferences in Reading and Winchester.

Over the years Pedro has produced materials for leading educational publishers including the music and recordings for Cambridge’s “Stories from The Little Library” and the music content for the new South African school text books produced by Oxford University Press.

As much as he is committed to teaching, Pedro also loves his work as a performer, musician, composer and story-teller often performing at festivals in SA, in Europe and in other parts of the world often teaming up with Madosini the famous Xhosa musical bow player.