Ismael Ledesma Bio (Anglaise)
Ismael Ledesma was born in the city of Lambaré (Paraguay) in 1962. He is the son of artists, his father Raimundo Ledesma and his mother Luisa Ysabel Lucena. He learned the first notes on the harp with his father at the age of five.
His first public presentation was at a school festival in the city of Fernando de la Mora (Paraguay) at age six.
He won his first prize in the genre interpretation, at the age of 12 years, in a folkloric festival organized by the Chilean Embassy in Paraguay.
His career as a musician began with the group of his mother « Los Madrigales », he performed at various nightclubs in the city of Asunción and at private events.
After finishing high school, Ismael was invited to France by his uncle the musician Kike Lucena, who was already living in Paris since the 70`s. That is why Ismael made the decision to travel to Paris in 1982 to join the Parisian Latin-American circuit.
He shared the stage with several Paraguayan artists living in France such as Papi Echeverría, Juan Portillo, Lito Benítez, Johnny Cabrera, Pedro Fernandez, Alberto Jara and more.
Collaborated on stage with the groups:
- « Latino Show »
- « Los diablos del Paraguay »
- « Los Guayaquies »
- « América Latina con alegría y fuego » by Queta Rivero under the musical direction of maestro Cato Caballero.
- ”Perú Andino »
- « Hubert Félix Thiefaine »
- « Johnny Clegg »
- « Dremmwel »
- « l’Arpeggiata »
He made several presentations in Lebanon; in Israel with “Los tres amigos paraguayos” by Julio D. Rojas.
In addition to his artistic activities, Ismael increased his studies on French Language and Civilization at the Sorbonne University in Paris. But he did not leave aside his preparation in the area of music, he continued training at the Paris International Music Conservatory « Alfred de Vigny » His first solo concert was in Paris at the Du Marais theater.
In 1985, after forming part of different groups he made the decision to continue his solo career.
Ismael decided that he would perform his own creations at concerts, something that was considered very risky, because at that time Latin music was considered “exotic music » and was only represented as folk music.
Ismael wanted to break with that image and set out to start a new stage for Latin American music. This is how he began to openly show his ideas and interpreting exclusively his own compositions.
Ismael has edited 23 albums with different producers from France, Germany, Switzerland and Paraguay.
He has performed in various stages around the world, including Japan, Mexico, the United States, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, as well as in European countries, such as Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and logically in France where he has performed in the most famous stages of that country, such as the « Olympia de Paris » in 1999, « La Cité de La musique » the same year; « Casino de Paris », « El Bataclan » and « El Grand Rex »
He collaborated in the discography of the following groups:
- « América latina con alegría y fuego »
- « Perú Andino »
- « Los Koyas »
- « Flor del Fango » ex Mano Negra
- “L’arpeggiata »
He participated in the most important international harp festivals:
- ”World Harp Congress » (Prague, Czech Republic)
- « International Stamford harp festival » (England)
- « Harfentreffen » (Germany)
- « Bruxelles harp Festival » (Belgium)
- « Latinoamericando » Milano (Italy)
- « Rencontre Internationales des harpes de Dinan » (France)
- « Seduced by Harp International Harp Festival » (Belgium)
- « Sentmenat harp festival » Barcelona “(Spain)
- « Gargilesse harp festival » (France)
- « Taggia harp festival » (Italy)
- « Bardonnechia harp festival » (Italy)
- « International Encounter of Harps of Durango » (Mexico)
- « World Harp Festival in Paraguay » (Paraguay)
- « Mihsquila de arpas festival » Santiago del Estero “(Argentina)
- « Whashington harp festival » (United States)
- « Spring Arpeggios » (Tokyo – Japan)
- « Harp on Wigth Festival » (England)
- « Achill International harp Festival » (Ireland)
- « Festival de Cornouailles » (France)
- « International Symphony of Harp of Dijon » (France)
- Concert for Peace (Iraq)
He was the first artist to appear in the « Hemicycle of the Shrine of Lourdes », under the authorization of the Archbishop of Lourdes, on October 21, 2018. Never before has an artist performed in this sacred place. Ledesma gave a concert in the « Harpe Celeste, Musique spirituelle » (Arpa Celeste, Spiritual Music).
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 “Sala Moliere” at the Alliance Francaise and at the City Theatre “Ignacio A. Pane”. He also takes part in Paraguayan Events such as the “Festival Paraguaype” and twice at the “World Harp Festival in Asuncion”.
The French Senate distinguished him as the Personality of Latin America in France and the Paraguayan tourism ministry gave him the title of Ambassador of the Paraguayan Arpa.
In 2018 the Chamber of Senators of Paraguay gave recognition to Ledesma for his career, as a promoter and ambassador of Paraguayan culture.
5 decades with the harp
In 2018 he celebrated 50 years playing the harp, he began in April 1968, at the age of five. His father Reimundo Ledesma began to teach him.
He also celebrated 35 years of international career with the harp and without a doubt is one of the greatest representatives of the music that Paraguay has.
He has released 2 albums with « Ysando trío », in 2016 « Alma Latina » and in 2018 « Baile de las cuerdas ».
The members of « Ysando trio » are Ledesma on the harp, Andrea González on the violin and Orlando Rojas on the guitar.
In 2017 Ledesma released the material « El indio errante » and his last release was « Balade Magique » which officially went on sale in France on March 26, 2018.
Ledesma explained that his album « Balade Magique » is a musical concentration of different inspirations that he lived in the places he has visited lately, such as French, Japan, India, Iraq, Ireland and Paraguay.
Ismael Ledesma is considered 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