Castaneda (39) began playing the harp in his youth focusing mainly on Colombian folk music. After moving to New York with his father when he was sixteen years old, he discovered jazz and was charmed by the freedom and ingenuity it offered. Since harp is not actually considered as a jazz instrument, Castaneda studied trumpet by day while implementing his newly acquired knowledge by night playing the harp in a gig at a restaurant. Slowly he paved a unique and distinct way establishing an original voice that smoothly shifts between musical worlds and genres, from Colombian music to Latin jazz and classical music. Paquito D'Rivera, who took the young harp player under his wing introducing him to the NYC jazz scene, said, "an enormous talent… [Edmar] has the versatility and the enchanting charisma of a musician who has taken his harp out of the shadow to become one of the most original musicians from the Big Apple". His virtuosity is captivating and expressive, producing a distinct harp sound characterized by symphonic fullness, chord nuances, technical savvy across-the-board with hints of flamenco, jazz or Latin music added at will. He has released three albums as a bandleader, composed music for symphonic ensembles, and participated in various intriguing global musical collaborations sharing the stage and the international language of music with musicians from different corners of the world among them, John Scofield, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Marcus Miller, Hiromi, John Patitucci, Sting, Rickie Lee Jones and Paco de Lucia.