Edmar Castaneda was born in 1978, in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. Since his move to the United States in 1994, he has taken New York and the world stage by storm with his virtuosic command of the harp – revolutionizing the way audiences and critics alike consider the instrument. A master of beautifully complex timing, lush colors and dynamic spirit, Edmar has been called “almost a world unto himself” -The New York Times.

 

The legendary Paquito D’Rivera, Edmar’s frequent collaborator, describes him as “an enormous talent. With his versatility and enchanting charisma, he has taken his harp out of the shadows, and become one of the most original musicians in the Big Apple.” 

 

The son of a musician and a mother who nurtured Edmar’s obvious natural talents, he embraced the noble folkloric traditions of his native Colombia. The joropo dance classes he attended with his sister were a masterclass in movement, accompanied by the harp. In the mid-1990s, he moved to New York, and studied jazz trumpet, before returning to the harp. Today, on stages all over the world, it is remarkable how Edmar’s body engulfs his Colombian harp as he crafts almost unbelievable feats of cross- rhythms, layered with chordal nuances to rival even the most celebrated flamenco guitarists, and an incredible blend of musical influences.

 

Edmar Castaneda’s performing career has recently included playing with artists such as D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, John Scofield, Chico O’Farrill‘s Afro- Cuban Jazz Big Band, John Patitucci, and many more. Edmar has been Marcus Miller’s special guest, and he has also opened for Ricki Lee Jones, Diana Krall, The Yellowjackets, & Paco De Lucia.

 

Edmar has released three recordings, collaborating with artists such as John Scofield, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Miguel Zenon and Marshall Gilkes, and catching the attention of reviewers and legions of fans alike. About his previous disc, “Entre Cuerdas”, Jeff Tamarkin wrote in JazzTimes “it is hard to imagine the Colombian musician has much contemporary competition. That the harp sounds so natural in this context makes you wonder why so few have thought to utilize this many-stringed instrument as a viable lead instrument.”

 

Together with the French manufacturers, Camac Harps, Edmar Castaneda has developed a new instrument. The E C Llanera is a state-of-the-art version of the traditional arpa llanera of Colombia and Venezuela. Alongside its many structural improvements, it is also the first llanera harp with levers. This increase the instrument’s potential for chromaticism and unlocks new musical potential for the instrument and Latin American music.

 

Edmar Castaneda – harp

Marshall Gilkes – trombone

Rodrigo Villalon – drums

 

www.edmarcastaneda.com