Ismael was born in Venezuela 1964 with rhythm in his blood. At the age of 12 years he was performing live on stage. When he was 16 he was teaching “cuatro”, the four-string popular guitar of Venezuela.
In 1982 he came to Austria in order to study classical guitar in Linz und Graz. But in the end his passion for percussion was dominant.
Ismael Barrios has been continuously performing since the 1980s as a percussionist much in demand. On about 100 CD-DVD productions his talent for rhythm has been featured. Across many genres he has been active in countless bandprojects.
With Markus Schirmer, Studio Percussion Graz, Karen Asatrian Armenien Spirit, Jon Sass, Wolfgang Puschnig, Mark Murphy, Karl Ratzer, STS, Opus, EAV, papermoon, as well as Marianne Mendt he has been touring. As an ensemble member of Martin Grubinger he has performed on grand stages around the world. Tours with Camerata Salzburg, the Luzern Symphony Orchestra and the Lichtenstein Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Axelroth, Christian Järvi, Christian Vazquez, Ariel Zuckermann and the soloists Benjamin Schmid, Pekka Kuusisto, Andreas Schnieder and Trilok Gurtu exemplify the immense range of this great world musician.
With his 10 piece ensemble Salsa Explosion Ismael’s dream has come true since 2014. With salsa as rhythm and feeling he has been familiar with since childhood. This successful ensemble marks a new era in his musical career.
Ismael has also been successful as a teacher. In countless workshops he has passed on his knowledge of Latin percussion. He quickly adapts to the needs of his students and always tries to achieve sustainable results.