Born on September 8th 1970, Benny Ibarra De Llano is part of the 4th generation of an artistic family. Great-grandmother Julia Guzman was a novelist and mother to Rita Macedo, who became one of Luis Buñuel’s muses during the golden age of Mexican cinema and a successful theater actress, writer and teacher. Rita married Luis De Llano Palmer, a Spanish Republica soldier who in 1939 arrived in Mexico as a war refugee. Don Luis is the creative pioneer of the Mexican radio and television industries and a musical theater writer, director and producer. Rita and Luis’s first born is Julissa, who debuted at age 15 as the singer of “The Spitfires” with her younger brother Luis on guitar. Julissa was signed to CBS and went on to become a famous singer and movie icon with films such as “Los Caifanes”, but like her parents, her true passion was as a creative force in theater and music. She produced, translated and directed hit musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Rocky Horror Show and Grease, and was the creator of successful pop band “La Onda Vaselina” who then became OV7. While on tour in the sixties, she fell in love with Benny Ibarra, the lead singer of “Los Yaki”, a band from Reynosa, Tamaulipas who were signed to EMI. Benny and Julissa have two sons: Benny and Alex Ibarra. The brothers’ childhood developed in a creative environment and they both participated in movies, commercials and theater plays. Younger brother Alex was a member of Sesame Street and went on to record two albums for Sony and has participated in over 20 soap operas and 10 theater plays. Benny’s professional career began in 1981 when his uncle Luis De Llano, a Televisa producer, invited him to audition for a new musical project.
Mexico’s most successful pop group also gave artistic birth to fellow members Sasha Sokol, Erik Rubin, Paulina Rubio, Edith Marquez and Thalia. By 1985, Timbiriche had recorded 7 albums, toured the US and Latin America and starred in Julissa’s children adaptation of “Grease” which performed over 600 times with Benny in the lead role of Danny Zuko. He returned for both the 1998 and the 2008 25th anniversary reunion tours in which he also served as the show’s musical producer and director. In the last edition, Timbiriche generated an 80 shows international tour, 3 album projects, a live DVD, a reality show and a tour movie that was featured in theaters around the country. They hold the record of 43 performances at the 10,000 seater Auditorio Nacional de México by a group and 3 performances at the 65,000 capacity Foro Sol.
The Music Schools:
The first to leave the band in 1985, Benny changed the overwhelming success of Timbiriche for a small performing arts high school in Natick, Massachusetts named Walnut Hill School. For the next four years, he defined his talents as an actor, singer, guitarist, writer and arranger. In 1990, Benny attended Berklee Collage Of Music in Boston as a Film Scoring and Music Production student. After a year, he returned to Mexico and began his producer career helping his mother launch “La Onda Vaselina” and working on his brother’s second album for Sony.
The Solo Career:
In 1992, Benny signed with the Warner Music Group and began a 14 year partnership that produced 6 original albums, a live DVD-CD from a performance at Mexico’s Auditorio Nacional and a Greatest Hits compilation. All of his albums have Benny producing, recording, arranging, writing, and playing guitar, bass, percussion and programming beats and synths, a talent he would also apply as a producer of alternative rock pioneers Santa Sabina’s 2000 “Mar Adentro En La Sangre”. Benny signed with EMI in 2007, a relationship that was fruitful with the latest Timbiriche reunion projects. After the tour, a series of events would lead Benny to whole new approach to his career.
La Marcha De La Vida:
2009 found Benny in a evolutionary mood, changing management, production team, and record company. Benny signed with independent label and management agency OCESA-Sei Track. In them, he found the support and patience needed to produce a new Benny album, a process that invested 18 months in song writing alone and another 6 in production. The creative process had Benny and his team traveling around Mexico and the USA in search of the stories and sounds that became the songs of “La Marcha De La Vida”. Cities such as San Miguel De Allende, Jalcomulco, Valle De Bravo, Oaxaca and Los Angels would host the team and be key in the international feel of the album. Grammy winner Aureo Baqueiro (Alejandro Fernandez, Thalia, Paulina Rubio, Motel, Paty Cantú, Ha Ash, etc.) Grammy nominee Vico Gutierrez (Benny, Sasha Sokol, Cecilia Toussaint, Timbiriche) 3 time Grammy winner Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, Brian Eno, Bebel Gilberto, Puff Daddy, Mary J. Blige, etc) and fellow touring band members Santiago Ojeda (guitar with Botellita De Jerez, Timbiriche) Maria Urtuzuástegui (vocals with Aleks Syntek, Tania Libertad) and Luis Ledezma (drums with Café Tacuva) all spent time and talent working on the new tracks at renowned residential studio Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX. The result is a collection of 12 songs that where released in Mexico and the USA. The single “Calaveras” is a duet with Mexican international world-music diva Lila Downs. An eccentric combination of musical talents that had Benny exploring a latin sound and charting Top Five in Mexican radio. The song is the first single in the US market and was greatly accepted by the music fans and critics. With other singles like “Perder Para Encontrar”, “Imperfecto Amor” and “Siento”, Benny is preparing his 6th solo performance at the Auditorio Nacional, a show that will kick start the “La Marcha De La Vida Tour” and the release of the album in the rest of Latin America and Spain.
Benny has recorded, written and produced duets with such artist as:
Kabah, Edith Marquez, Amparo Sandino, Jannette Chao, Rostros Ocultos, Armando Manzanero, Miguel Bosé, Mary Urtuzuástegui, Aleks Syntek, Paty Cantú, Celso Piña and Lila Downs.
Movies, TV and Theater:
As an actor, Benny appears on films such as “Ciudad De Ciegos”, “En El Aire”, “Amor Xtremo”. TV series “S.O.S. Sexo y Otros Secretos” and in theater starred and produced with his mother and brother the musical “Blood Brothers”. He sang in the film “Quest For Camelot”, sang the main songs in films such as “Inspiración” and “Quien Diablos es Juliette?” and wrote and sang the soundtrack of “La Habitación Azul”, “Mas Que A Nada En El Mundo” and this year’s “La Otra Familia”. As Star Talent, he did the spanish voice of “The Tale of Despereaux” and this year’s “HOP”.