Telesma (band)

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Telesma is a Baltimore, Maryland based musical group playing in the psychedelic rock, world music, progressive rock,and trance music genres. A "telesma" is either a talisman (a magical charm) or the energy with which a talisman is charged. Founded in 2002, the band performs at festivals and other venues across the country, mostly in the Eastern half of the United States. They use costumes, body-paint, elaborate light-shows and projections for visual effect. Telesma performances often combine music with live art and belly dancing. Their music includes diverse world music, electronic instruments and influences.

Current roster[edit]


  • Ian Hesford (didgeridoo, kubing, dumbek, percussion)
  • Jason Sage (keyboards, vocals, percussion, programmer)
  • Joanne Juskus (vocals, percussion, karatalas)
  • Chris Mandra (guitar, analog guitar synth, the manDrum, and vocals)
  • Bryan "Jonesy" Jones (6 string MIDI & upright basses, theremin, percussion)
  • Mike "Kirby" Kirby (drum kit, percussion, electronic drums)

Additional artists/performers:

  • Indra Lazul (belly dancers)
  • Patricia Tamariz (body painter)
  • Adam Scott Miller (visual artist)
  • Alex & Allyson Grey (visual artist)
  • Jeremy Opio (visual artist)


The Telesma experience is an ecstatic trans-cultural phenomenon with a highly infectious and danceable beat. Exploding on the Baltimore music scene in 2002, it soon developed a loyal local fan base and then shook the underground festival scene from coast to coast.

Telesma’s live show blurs the line between performer and audience, attracting the most creative VJs, dancers, visual artists and body artists to its shows. Every Telesma show is a vortex of creativity; a celebration of body, mind and spirit.

The didgeridoo and manDrum too. Telesma’s vast arsenal of musical finery includes instruments as divergent as the didgeridoo, kubing (bamboo mouth harp from the Philippines), to electronic and tribal drums and the manDrum, one of the inventions of Telesma’s guitarist, as well as bass, keyboards, drum kit and the human voice.

Hard to describe. Dancing is mandatory. Telesma’s sound has been sometimes described as “psychedelic tribal modern world dance music, “ with diverse sounds ranging from intense polyrhythmic rock to the trance-like pulses of modern electronic dance/groove music.

“Dead Can Dance… with Teeth” — Telesma has been compared to Dead Can Dance, Pink Floyd, Tabla Beat Science, Amon Tobin, King Crimson, Ravi Shankar, Krishna Das, Afro-Celt Soundsystem, Bob Marley, Sun Ra Arkestra, Thievery Corporation, Tool, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, and Peter Gabriel, to name a few.


Telesma has collaborated with several other artists. They co-created the 2008 Visionary Gathering in Baltimore with Alex Grey, releasing a CD and DVD of the event entitled Hearing Visions: Live, and worked on other projects with him at his Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM).

From 2010-present, Telesma collaborated with visual artist Adam Scott Miller on creating video content for their live projection show. As well as having Adam paint live with the band on several occasions. In 2012, Adam create the "LOTUS-CHAIN" video project which includes 3 videos for the Telesma songs "Chain", "White Lotus" and a 3rd song TBA.

Other artists that Telesma has performed with include Shpongle, Beats Antique, EOTO, Papadosio, Consider The Source, David Tipper, ArcheDream For Human-Kind, Delhi2Dublin, Woodland, Bernie Worrell, Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey, See-I (featuring members of Thievery Corporation), Faun, Eliot Lipp, Jim Donovan (Rusted Root), The Gypsy Nomads, and HuDost.


Some of the event venues Telesma has performed at include: Camp Bisco, Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, Artscape, the Starwood Festival, Faerieworlds, PEX Summerfest, Spoutwood Fairie Festival, EvolveFest, FaerieCon, Raw Spirit Gathering, Culturefest, Karmafest, Maryland Faerie Festival, Alex Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), Free Spirit Gathering, Primal Arts Festival, the Baltimore PowWow, Phanphest, SoWeBo Festival, Nelson's Ledges, and WIYY 98Rock’s Summer Concert Series.



  • 2008 - Hearing Visions: Live DVD


  • Aural Stimulation at its Finest by Michael Macey, May 5, 2009, Chesapeake Music Guide
  • A Decibel Disparate: Synethesia’s Entrancing Sound – Telesma by Brianne Leith, April 1, 2011, The Annapolis Sound [1]
  • Meet Telesma by Zach Wilson, May 11, 2010, The Funk Box [2]
  • Meet the Band: Telesma by Annie Linskey, July 29, 2004, The Baltimore Sun [3]
  • Music Box: Baltimore Band Telesma Setting the Country on Fire by Michael Buckley, 4/19/2012, Capital Gazette [4]
  • Telesma by Dana Sobel, 9/9/2011, On the Verge: Relix Magazine
  • Telesma Channels the Spirit, March 22, 2010, The Painting Queen [5]
  • Telesma LOVEfest by Justin Allen, 2/16/2011, What Weekly [6]
  • What do Didgeridoo, Dumbeks, Kubings and Karatalas Have in Common? by Debbie Snyder, Lehigh Valley InSite [7]
  • World Beat is Not Enough: Baltimore’s Telesma Digs into the Elusive Vibes of Indigenous Music by Robbie Whelan, Jan. 5th, 2005, Baltimore City Paper [8]

External links[edit]