Biographie Ismael Ledesma (Anglaise)
Ismael Ledesma was born in the town of Lambarré ( Paraguay) en 1962.
He played his first notes on the harp with his father when aged five years old.
He first performed on-stage at a school festival in the town of Fernando de la Mora (Paraguay) aged six.
At twelve years he played his first paid function when he participated in a group at a folklore festival organized by the Ambassador of Chile to Paraguay.
His career as a musician started in his mother`s group, Los Madrigales, which appeared in different evening concerts in the town of Ascuncion, in various private and social events.
At the end of his secondary school studies Ismael was invited to France by his uncle Kike Lucena who had lived in Paris since the 70`s.
In 1982 he travelled to Paris in order to join the circle of Latin American musicians in the capital. There he joined the dsome of the diverse groups of those times such as “Los Guayakies” with Pedro Leguizamon, “Los diablos del Paraguay” with Pedro Ramirez, and “Los Tupi” with Rubito Luna.
He shared the contemporary scene with different Paraguayan artists resident in France such as Papi Echeverria, Juan Portillo, Lito Benitez, Johnny Cabrera, Pedro Fernandez and Alberto Jara, amongst others. He has played in Lebanon and in Israel with “Los tres amigos Paraguayos” with Julio D. Rojas. In 1984, he joined the music and dance ensemble “America Latina con alegria y fuego” with Queta Rivero, under the leadership of master musician Cato Caballero.
Afterwards he teamed up with different groups such as “Latino Show” and “Peru Andino”. But in 1985 he decided to pursue a solo career.
In parallel to his artistic activities Ismael perfected his French, enrolling at the University of Sorbonne in Language and French Civilisation. He also became a student at the International Music Conservatoire of Paris, Alfred de Vigny.His first concert as a pure soloist took place in Paris at the Theatre du Marais.
It was at this time that Ismael decided to bring his own compositions to the scene. This was a risky decision as Latin music is often considered as `exotic` in Europe and is presented purely as folk-lore music Ismael looked at breaking this stereotype and to creating a new platform for Latin American music by openly showing his own new musical ideas and by singly interpreting his own compositions. Ismael has made 13 CDs with different producers: French, German, Swiss and Paraguayan.He has played the whole world; In Japan, in the States, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and of course throughout the European countries.
In France he has performed at the most prestigious events: The 1999 Olympics; The City of Music and at the Bataclan and the Grand Rix.
He is equally welcomed at the most important Harp Festivals in the world, playing at the Prague World Harp Festival, The Edinburgh International Harp Festival, the Celtic Harp Festival Dinan, Harfentreffen Germany and at Stamford, England.
Ismael was also invited to the World Music festivals of Martiques and the Festival of Cap Vern. He also returns frequently to his own country where he plays in the Paraguayan Japanese Centre, the Central Bank of Paraguay, the Moliere Room at the Alliance Francaise and at the City Theatre “Ignatio A Pane”. He also takes part in Paraguayan Events such as the Festival Paraguaype and twice at the World Harp Festival in Ascuncion.
Ismael Ledesma is thought of not so much as a world-harpist, as a Universal Harpist !
“…..Ismael and his harp take you, gently, on a musical-guided-tour of his life.”
“…. Ismael Ledesma effortlessly invokes the strangeness of the rain-forest, the sinister power of a river…. and the sweetness of a lullaby