Ivan Llanes was born on December 30, 1985 in Camaguey, Cuba. At an early age, he showed an interest in music. At age 10, he began his formal music education at the Vocational School of Art Luis Casas Romero. At age 13, he joined the Estrellitas de la Charanga Orchestra and participated twice in the National Festival of Charanga Orchestra in Palma Soriano, Cuba. At age 15, Llanes furthered his music education at the Jose White Conservatory. He graduated in 2004, at the top of his class, and began to pursue his professional career. He became a member of several different groups, honing his skills as a percussionist and singer.
In 2008, Ivan moved to Havana to join the internationally recognized Cuban orchestra, Ricardo Leiva y Sur Caribe. As a part of this orchestra, he refined his skills on drum set and percussion and was exposed to a wide variety of popular Cuban music. Ivan also took a sincere interest in playing Jazz.
In 2010, Ivan joined Grammy-nominated Orlando "Maraca" Valle and Otra Vision. Under the musical direction of Maraca, a master flute virtuoso, Ivan combined the use of drum set and timbale. He rapidly developed the skills necessary to perform Maraca's complicated compositions and playing style.
After a U.S. tour with Maraca in 2011, he relocated to New York to expand his musical career with world-renowned musicians. Since then, Llanes has become an indispensable member of the Latin and Latin Jazz communities, respectively. He has performed alongside many distinguished artists including Descemer Bueno, Raul Paz, Xiomara Laugart, Franci Vazquez, Jesus Diaz, Mario "Mayito" Rivera, to name a few. He has also started to collaborate on the American music scene with Hank Lane Music and Production Company, singing and playing percussion. Ivan also works in the music education industry as part of the United Visions and Rhythms Agency and is the Percussion Director of the band, Via Veinte.
Ivan is currently working on his own project, the Cuban Way. It is an effort to reflect the wide variety of Ivan's musical influences, while incorporating traditional elements of Timba and Folklore in a creative setting that showcases his energy and passion. In 2013, Ivan and his band performed at the Havana Film Festival at the Bronx Museum.