Ivan Llanes Montejo

Matthew Whitaker Quintet

Ivan Llanes Montejo


Paiste Artist Since
September 2022


Main Affiliation
Matthew Whitaker Quintet


Follow Artist


In an ever-expanding and increasingly globalized music industry, Cuban American percussionist and singer Ivan Llanes stands out as one of the most exciting musicians of his generation. Originally hailing from Camaguey, Cuba, Ivan has earned himself a top tier reputation in New York City for both his broad range of percussion skills as well as his distinctive voice and song writing style. Ivan is currently a member of jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker’s quintet, with whom he has performed in notable jazz festivals throughout the United States and has been featured on TV shows including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Ivan is also lead vocalist with latin supergroup People of Earth, with whom he has performed alongside the Los Angeles Philharmonic and New World Symphony, among others. Prior to relocating to the United States in 2011, Ivan toured Cuba, Europe and the United States with legendary Cuban flutist Maraca. Since moving to the United States, Ivan has performed and/or recorded with Grammy-winners Arturo O’Farrill, Nella, Carlinhos Brown, Descemer Bueno as well as with Emmy award winning composer Katreese Barnes. As a prolific and creative composer, Ivan has led collaborative projects on Congahead, the premiere latin music youtube channel, with over 250k views across his various productions. He also leads his own project, Ivan Llanes and The Cuban Way, which has performed in some of NYC’s most prestigious venues including National Sawdust, Bonafide, Fat Cat, the Bronx Museum, and at the Havana Film Festival. Currently, the group is completing its first album entitled “La Vida Misma”, scheduled for release in 2023. On the educational side of his career, Ivan has collaborated with organizations including 92Y, Carnegie Hall, and Marquis Studios to share his passion and knowledge with young people throughout New York and New Jersey. In Ivan’s words: “I play all Cuban music genres, as well as styles from the United States and beyond. There is always a message of love, peace, joy and acceptance in my playing and I believe that when I share my music, art and culture with the world I can make an impact”.