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. ~ Craig Harris & Thom Jurek