Omar Ledezma Jr
GRAMMY nominee singer and percussionist OMAR LEDEZMA JR. was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He began to develop his first drum skills at age of 13, and at 16 he started playing percussion with friends in small ensembles and began studying with percussionists Jorge "CroCro" Orta (Grupo Niche) and Ruben Garcia (master venezuelan percussionist)
He attended USM Law School in Caracas and received his degree in Law in 1995, but his passion for music kept him playing and participating in big music competitions, when he started to get recognition for his performances. In 1990 he made his first trip to Cuba to study with master of afro cuban percussion, Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana.
Omar began as a professional musician by playing and recording in Venezuela with many bands and artists including Guaco, Jarana, and Gerardo Rosales. He also receive a scholarship to continue studies in Afro-Venezuelan percussion in the renown training program of Popular Culture by the Bigott Foundation in Caracas.
In 1998 he packed one bag and one drum and moved to United States to explore new horizons. He received The North American Scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music and during college years, Omar kept a busy schedule at the latin music scene of Boston and New York, playing, recording and touring with local and International Artists such as Jerry Rivera, Tito Gomez, Paquito D' Rivera, Edwin Pabon, Alex Alvear & Mango Blue, Bandon 33, and Jose Conde. In Boston, Omar becomes lead singer of the most important House band in New England, at Sophia's Bar, and he is also a founder member of the international acclaimed and GRAMMY nominee La Clave Secreta (former La Timba Loca), a Contemporary Afro-Cuban Band, with them he made his second trip to Cuba sharing the stage with Los Van Van, Pupy y Los que son son, Issac Delgado and Buena Vista Social Club star Eliades Ochoa, during the Benny More Festival in 2003. He also has been invited to play two consecutive years in the Flamenco International Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico; played with the most important flamenco artists of USA and Spain such as Joaquin Grillo, Omayra Amaya, Joaquin Encinias, El Veneno and Chuscales in the show "Son Y Soniquete". His extensive experience in the Afro-Venezuelan percussion style and vocal qualities has been demanded for most of the Venezuelan Artists in USA, including Aquiles Baez, Gonzalo Grau, Marco Granados, Maria Marquez and Jackeline Rago.
After seven years living in the East Coast, Omar moved to California to work in different projects with Andy Vargas (Carlos Santana), Fausto Cuevas (Steve Wonder), Rumbankete and Oscar Cartaya's Band in Los Angeles, with appearances in the most important places of the L.A. music scene such Mama Juana's, The Baked Potato and TV presentations, including the 6th LATIN GRAMMY's, now he is currently living in the Bay Area, where in 7 years he already performed in the San Francisco Symphony's "Adventures in Music" Program for 5 years, and played local gigs such as Eric Rangel & Orquesta America, Edgardo Cambon & Candela, The Venezuelan Music Project, Rumbache, Michael Spiro & La Moderna Tradicion, Anthony Blea, Montuno Swing, Rolando Morales, Louie Romero & Mazacote, Benny Velarde, Fito Reinoso and Karl Perazzo & Avance.
Omar is a Faculty member of the Community Music Center at the heart of San Francisco in The Mission and the prestigious JazzSchool in Berkeley.
Today, with more than 30 records, 1 educational book and 2 DVD's under his belt as a side man, Omar keeps playing with major artists such Victor Manuelle and La India, he released 2 new mayor albums in collaboration with Orestes Vilato's AZESU project and the newly international acclaimed Pacific Mambo Orchestra and Tito Puente Jr., he is part of the long recognized family-oriented Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble under the tutelage of Keith Terry and recently in 2012, Ledezma started his own educational-musical project, The Ka-Hon Ensemble.
Omar is an exclusive PEARL PERCUSSION and SOULTONE CYMBALS endorsee artist.