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Ilan Chester

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  • Born: Israel
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Born in Israel and raised in Venezuela, Ilan Chester has incorporated a global range of influences into his music. Inspired by Tito Rodriguez, the Puerto Rican multi-instrumentalist who was one of the spearheads of New York's Latin music scene, Chester was equally enamored of American R&B and British rock. His music has grown to include elements of classical, jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and Venezuelan music. A former member of such Venezuelan bands as Sugar, Cocoa & Milk, Gerry Weil & His Band, Bacro, Syma, and Sky White Meditation, Chester has had phenomenal success since launching his solo career with 1978's Night and Daydream/Wheels of Time. Beginning with 1983's Canciones de Todos, he began a decade-long relationship with the Sonographica label, which issued acclaimed albums such as 1984's Amistad, 1985's Ilan Chester (Sólo Faltas Tú), 1987's Al Pie de la Letra, and 1990's Opus #10. His recorded debut with Sony, Un Mundo Mejor, appeared in 1992 and was followed by 1994's Terciopelo.

Chester released the first of his celebrated Cancionero del Amor Venezolano (Songs Books of Venezuelan Love) albums in 1998 as an independent artist, and followed it with a second volume in 2000. In 2001, his Navideno Heart recording became an international sensation, and he followed it the next year with Cancionero del Amor Puertorriqueño. ASI followed in 2004. In 2006, the third volume of Cancionero del Amor Venezolano appeared, followed by a box set of all three volumes in 2008. In 2009 he released the six-disc compilation Tesoros de la Musica Venezolana, a collection of Venezuelan songs with each disc representing songs and styles from a particular region, featuring wonderful collaborations with virtually every well-known artist in the country, detailed notes, and artist interviews. It sold over half a million units in less than a month in Venezuela alone. In 2010, Chester covered "Here, There and Everywhere" (Aqui, Alla y en Todas Partes) on Tributo a las Beatles, a various-artists compilation that also featured contributions from Nestor Torres, Ricky Martin, and Ana Gabriel, to name a few.


Ilan Chester (born Ilan Czenstochowski) is a celebrated Venezuelan singer, keyboardist, arranger and composer. Born in Israel in 1952, of European parents, Ilan emigrated to Venezuela in 1953.


2010 award winning Latin Grammy, Israeli-born and Venezuelan-raised Ilan Chester is a multi-talented musician, singer and composer with more than 35 music productions who has incorporated a global range of influences into his music. Chester grew up with the Jewish, French and Italian melodies he heard as a child at home and later he was equally enamored with American R&B ( Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder) and the British rock movement ( Beatles, Yes, Jethro Tull ).

At the age of 19, in 1971 he first met Hare Krishna devotees and two years later he was initiated and given the spiritual name Havi Das by his spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Chester has stated on record that 'Krishna consciousness is and has always been my true source of inspiration. It is the love found in the hearts of the devotees for Krishna that has motivated me to write songs.' He and his family continue to be active practitioners of the Vaishnava Bhakti tradition.

His music has grown to include elements of Classical Music, Jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and Venezuelan Folk music. A former member of rock and pop bands like "Trams", "Way" and "Melao", Ilan has also recorded four productions for the English speaking market. Chester became famous as an exceptional artist in Venezuela and all over Latin America since launching his solo career in 1983 filling up massive auditoriums and theaters. After a series of memorable albums, including " Amistad", " Solo faltas tu", "ASI", "Songs Books of Venezuelan Love", Vols. 1, 2 & 3, he attracted even more international attention with the platinum-selling album "Navideno Heart" and a 6 CD collection where he has sold more than 500.000 units in just few weeks only in Venezuela.

Ilan Chester is recognized everywhere by artist and critics alike as one of the most talented composer and singer in Spanish language. Many of his songs became international hits by Latin stars like Mark Anthony, Cheo Feliciano and Chayenne and he has followers all around the globe.

^ Smullen, Madhava (Dec 11, 2010). "Havi Das Wins Latin Grammy Award". ISKCON News.