Colombian Harpist , Band leader and composer Edmar Castaneda was born in Colombia Bogota where he started playing the Colombian harp at the early age of thirteen.
He has a unique style of playing harp Combining Latin jazz with traditional Colombian music, Edmar has carved a firm place in the international jazz scene. A jazz harpist of imposing talent, he transforms the harp into a lead instrument to phenomenal effect. Producing cross-rhythms like a drummer, smashing chordal flourishes like a flamenco guitarist and collating bebop and Colombian music, he is practically a world unto himself. His style is fascinatingly percussive and he plucks dynamic basslines almost invisibly while picking out melodies with his right hand. Now in his late 20s, Edmar moved to the United States in 1994 and was quickly recognized for his unmatched style and sound.
He has performed with Paquito D'Rivera, John Scofield ,Wynton Marsalis JLCO, John Patitucci, ,Pablo zinger, Dave Samuels, Trio De Paz, Guiovani Hidalgo ,Lila Downs, Janis siegel , Chico O'farrill Afro-cuban jazz big band , DJango Reinhardt NY festival, The united Nation Orchestra , among other renowned musicians.
He also tours regularly as the leader of the Edmar Castaneda Trio, together with trombone and drums. His playing is striking for its rhythmic complexities, driving basslines and sheer musical force.
"Edmar is.. an enormous talent, he has the versatility and the enchanting charisma of a musician who has taken his harp out of the shadow to become one of the most original musicians from the Big Apple."
- PAQUITO D'RIVERA .
"Edmar Castaneda’s short opening set took Diana Krall’s mellow crowd by surprise. Castaneda plays the arpa llanera, or Colombian harp, a diatonic instrument from which he snatches twanging, sweet, twittering, chiming, dense sonorities like nothing else in contemporary music. Castaneda’s trio with drummer David C. Silliman and trombonist Marshall Gilkes included the “resident artists” at Umbria Jazz, performed nine times, and were among the revelations of the festival."
THOMAS CONRAD -JAZZ TIMES ( AUG 7, 2006)
"The most amazing and well received new sensation for Panamanian jazz fans was Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda. "
THE PANAMA NEWS ( JAN 21 , 2007)
“As illustrated in a fascnatingly percussive performance by the harpist Edmar Castaneda”
-THE NEW YORK TIMES.