Ivan Llanes was born on December 30, 1985 in Camaguey, Cuba. At an early age, he showed an interest in music. At age 10, he began his formal music education at the Vocational School of Art Luis Casas Romero. At age 13, he joined the Estrellitas de la Charanga Orchestra and participated twice in the National Festival of Charanga Orchestra in Palma Soriano, Cuba. He became a member of several different groups, honing his skills as a percussionist and singer.
In 2010, Ivan joined Grammy-nominated Orlando “Maraca” Valle and Otra Vision. Under the musical direction of Maraca, a master flute virtuoso, Ivan combined the use of drum set and timbale.
After a U.S. tour with Maraca in 2011, he relocated to New York to expand his musical career with world-renowned musicians. Since then, Llanes has become an indispensable member of the Latin and Latin Jazz communities, respectively. He has performed alongside many distinguished artists including Descemer Bueno, Raul Paz, Xiomara Laugart, Franci Vazquez, Jesus Diaz, to name a few.
Llanes is currently working on his own project, the Cuban Way. It is an effort to reflect the wide variety of Ivan’s musical influences, while incorporating traditional elements of Timba and Folklore in a creative setting that showcases his energy and passion.