Ismael Pineda Bio


Ismael Pineda was born to a beautiful, loving, passionate, and musically
inclined family. He is the first son of hard working Mexican immigrants to
the U.S. Born in Los Angeles, he was initially raised in a very ethnically
diverse community that expressed love for all kinds of music,
predominantly of Latin and African influence.

At a young age, Ismael first became involved with musicians in Los
Angeles from different backgrounds and styles, and evolved to professional
levels. His ears are open to all musical styles, and he’s been striving to
fulfill his musical passion. Being a lover for rhythm, Ismael launched his
career as a percussionist looking into world music. Today, he is being
recognized as a serious artist in the ever challenging global musical arena.

Ismael’s musical studies began in classical guitar. His instructor, Igor
Grigoriev, was an award winning composer and jazz guitarist from Russia.
Igor taught Ismael how to read music, and instilled in him a great
discipline for musicianship and technique.  He explained to Ismael that a
melody is like a conversation between a man and a woman in which “one
speaks and the other one listens.”

Soon after, he started to study and play the congas and other drums with
various teachers. One of the most influential of these teachers has been
Fausto Cuevas III, a world re-known percussionist currently working with
Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder and Queen Latifa. Fausto Cuevas mentored
Ismael in the discipline and technique of the drum. Fausto taught Ismael
that playing‘congas is more than just playing an instrument, it is a way of
expressing life; rhythm "is" life.

Ismael acquired a strong affinity and intrigue with Cuban music and so he
was fortunate to have studied congas and Afro-Cuban Music with premier
folklore musicians such as Luis Abreu Sr., member of the famed rumba
group "Los Papines" from La Habana, Francisco Menini Zamora, and Pedro
Aballi Torriente “Regalado”, founders of Grupo Afro-Cuba de Matanzas.
Other great musicians he learned from were Ramon Marquez, and Manolo
“El Duque” Cisneros, music director and member of the innovative folkloric
group "Cutumba" from Santiago de Cuba. This experience has been, by far,
one of the greatest influences that consolidated Ismael’s love and
appreciation for rhythm. The beat of a drum led him to further vigorous
pursuit of mastery of this instrument. Ismael is now in a never-ending
quest to explore and learn rhythms from all over the world.

Some of the most influential artists for Ismael’s musical style have been
the master congueros Giovanni Hidalgo, Fausto Cuevas, Ramon Marquez
and Manolo “El Duque” Cisneros, flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, African
singer Salif Keita, pianist Sergio Mendez, Los Papines, Grupo Afro-Cuba de
Matanzas, Cutumba and many others. Genre’s that he has a particular
affinity for include Afro-Cuban, Samba, Rumba, Flamenco, Jazz, Reggae,
African, Indian, Hip Hop, Latin, Indigenous, and many others, especially
those with a heavy drumming and classical guitar presence.

Throughout his musical career, Ismael has been an integral part of various
local bands from Los Angeles such as, Umo Verde, La Santa Cecilia,
George Dez and Danny Hamilton. Ismael has had the honor and privilege
to perform alongside many artists such as Fausto Cuevas y sus
Compadres/Rumberos, Johny Polanco y su Conjunto Amistad, Grammy
Award winning Tibetan singer Yangjin Lamu, Francis Awe and the Nigerian
Talking Drum Ensemble,  and various others to name a few. Ismael has
played and recorded percussion for Little Willie G., of the Midnighters,
Rosie and Juan Rivera (sister and brother of Jenny Rivera) Grupo Adiccion,
George Dez, Umo Verde, Danny Hamilton, Dina Torok and Ernie Perez III,
singer for the group “Boxing Ghandis” to name a few. He has done TV
performances with Luis Enrique, Toby Love and Cristian Castro and can
also be seen playing the drum in Carishma’s hit music video, “Glow in the
Dark. In addition, Ismael can be seen playing congas alongside George Dez
in the recent movie release of "Babe's and Ricky's Inn The Documenteray."

Recently he produced his own album collaborating with and featuring
various artists playing music written by him. The album is titled "LA Love."
Following a vision he received, it began in the year 2010 and it took a total
of three years to complete. On and off working with the unstable schedule
of a musician, Ismael took all of his years of experience to produce this
album. The result was the birth of ISH and "LA Love," his debut as an
artist, composer and producer.