Leonard Jacome



 Harpist, arranger, composer and producer with more than 23 years of experience. Leonard was born on July 5th 1981, in Rubio, Táchira State, Venezuela. He began his musical career at a very early age under his parents support. The Venezuelan cuatro became his first melodies partner. Then, came the guitar and the acoustic bass until he finally took up what he calls “the owner of my life”, the Venezuelan harp. He has been playing this magical instrument since the age of 12. His musical career started the moment he decided to leave his hometown to entirely devote himself to live exclusively on the melodies of his stringed instrument.

He formally started studying at Francisco J. Marciales Music School where he studied clarinet in 1990; and cuatro, musical theory and solfeggio in 1992. By 2001, he continued his musical education at the prestigious Simón Bolívar Conservatory of Music in the capital city of Caracas where he studied classical harp.

Since then, his ascending career has taken him to international venues in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, British Guiana, Uruguay, South Africa, Mozambique, France, Italy, Spain, The United States, Ireland, Cyprus, Scotland, Japan, Sweden, Russia, Malaysia, Austria and Wales. He’s also earned six first places as a soloist in international festivals during 1998, 1999 and 2001. Among these prizes, he holds the “PADROTE DE LA GUAFA 2002” (King of the Colombo – Venezuelan joropo), an award given in Villavicencio, Department of Meta in Colombia. Likewise, he’s been invited to participate as a member of the jury in various nationally and internationally renowned harp competitions.

 

Leonard represented Venezuela at: 

  • II, IV & VIII World Harp Festival in Paraguay (2008-2010-2014).
  • V and VIII Latin America Harp Meeting and the “Mishquila de Arpas” in Santiago del Estero, Argentina (2009).
  • Wales International Harp Festival, Caernarfon-Wales UK (2014).
  • Schagerl Brass Festival 2014, Melk-Austria.
  • Harpes au Max, international harp festival in Ancenis district, France 2016.
  • Cancún harp festival, Arpafest, Cancún-México 2016.
  • In October 2016, Leonard Jacome was invited by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra for his first world concert with two Camac Venezuelan harps on stage: “Venezuelan electric harp with Big Band Jazz” and “EC llanera with Philharmonic Orchestra”. There, he played at two important performances at prestigious “Dewan Philarmonik Petronas” theatre (Petronas Twin towers- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).

 

Artistic achievements:

 

Creator of the Venezuelan electric harp

 Leonard is also working to develop a contemporary identity for the South American harp. It is Leonard who asked Jakez (Chairman of CAMAC-HARPS of France) to produce the first Venezuelan electric harp. https://www.camac-harps.com/en/harps-en/southamerican/electro-llanera-37/

In order to carry forward the education, evolution, research, understanding and spreading of the Venezuelan harp, he designed the first prototype of a Venezuelan electric harp with the help of the renowned harp French manufacturer CAMAC-HARPS. Among the many features, the instrument is made of carbon fiber. Leonard currently studies new ways and advanced harp-playing techniques in favor of the advancement of the instrument within the context of the various music of the world.

 

Educational work

 Leonard is head of the harp department at “El Sistema”. Since he created the Venezuelan harp chair, he has taught over thirty young harpists. Leonard Jácome is creator and Head of the Venezuelan harp Cathedra for the “El Sistema”, in the National Orchestra System at Simon Bolívar Conservatory of Music.

 

His musical works:

  • EMPIRICO 2009 ( CD ALBUM)

Venezuelan traditional Harp: Leonard Jacome

Special Guesta: Kadialy Kouyate (African Cora)

Venezuelan cuatro: Jorge Glem, Darwin Guevara, Yosmar Cabrera.

Bass: Gonzalo Teppa, Rodner Padilla, Rafael Querales, Everth Rodriguez, Sandy Bolaños.

Maracas: Ernesto Laya, Wilmer Montilla.

Clarinet: Alberto “CHECHE” Requena.

Electric guitar: Carmelo Medina.

He released his first recording in 2009 as well. Under the name Leonard Jácome & his cuerdas bajo presión Empírico, the harpist’s music is characterized for its exotic blend of rhythms, melodies and harmonies form around the world. These can be listened in each of the 12 tracks that conform the recording. From a loud joropo to a Paraguayan polka to an afro-Venezuelan drum with an African harp or even a smooth and passionate tango. All of them under his musical direction.

 

  • WALKING HANDS 2015 (DVD-CD ALBUM Filmed and recorded “live” at the studio)

CD-DVD album “WALKING HANDS” of Leonard Jacome and his Strings under Pressure. Filmed and recorded “live” at the studio.

Produced and Directed by: Leonard Jacome.

Venezuelan electric/acoustic harps: Leonard Jacome

Drums: Yilmer Vivas.

Saxophones: Christian Montilla.

Filmed/ edited by: Pedro Mercado.

Recording/Mixing: Francisco Diaz. Zonofolk-Caracas, 2014.

Special Guests: Miguel Siso (Venezuelan Cuatro), María Inés Torres (Voice).

This production shows the new Venezuelan electric harp, created by Leonard Jacome and manufactured by Camac-Harps of France. Made of carbon fiber, with 37 strings and a microphones circuit divided in two sections: Treble and Bass. The bass line played in every piece of this production, was executed with the bass strings of the harp in real time by the harpist, highlighting the versatility of the instrument and also showing the virtuosity of the musician.

 

His development:

Leonard has been in over 200 recordings like special guest and currently plays over 100 concerts per year with various artists both from Venezuela, Colombia and abroad. Some of these relevant players/Singers are: Strings Under Pressure, “Two Harps four Hands”, Servando & Florentino Primera, Horacio Blanco (Desorden Público), Reynaldo Armas, John Harvey “Dartagnan” Ubaque, Rodner Padilla, Ernesto Laya, Jorge Glem, Gonzalo Teppa, Cheche Requena, Kadialy Kouyate, Cheo Hurtado, Erick Chacón, Carmelo Medina, Rafael Querales, Miguel Siso, Manuel Rangel, Venezuelan Brass Quintet, Cesar Orozco, David Peña, Roberto Koch, Ismael Querales, Yilmer Vivas, Norma Ortega, Yosmar Cabrera, Venezuela Viva (Musical Orinoco), Ensamble de Percusión Venezuela, Eddy Marcano, Simón Bolívar National Orchestras System, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra among others.

 

Currently

  • He has been part of the artistic-musical cast of Venezuelan songwriter Reynaldo Armas for 10 years.
  • He is studying Musical pedagogical at University UPEL-I.P.R.G.R. – Venezuela.
  • From Bogota-Colombia he is planning and running his artistic projects around the world at his business center named: STRINGS UNDER PRESSURE S.A.S.