Bob Conti

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Bob Conti
Bob Conti Headshot.jpg
Background information
Birth nameRobert James Conti
Also known asB. Conti,[1] Bob 'Mr. Shaker' Conti,[2] Bob "Catherine's Son" Conti,[3]
BornDecember 27, 1947
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, pop, R&B, New Age
InstrumentsAll percussion instruments, conga drums, bongos, timbales, saxophone, flute, lead vocals and backing vocals
Years active1967–present

Bob Conti (born December 27, 1947) is an American percussionist best known for his double platinum compositions and performance works with Donna Summer, Bad Girls,[5] Diana Ross and decades performing with Jose Feliciano. Conti also served as record producer with Feliciano on The Genius of Jose Feliciano Vol 1 & Vol 2,[6][7] albums Conti produced on his own record label, Joyfull Productions.[8]

On tour and in the studio from 1967 until present day, Conti has performed, traveled and recorded with artists in nearly every genre of music and in most every country worldwide. From Carnegie Hall with Jose Feliciano[9] to sold-out performances with Donna Summer at the Hollywood Bowl, from the Sydney Opera House[10] to the foothills of the Egyptian Pyramids. In the genre of Jazz, Conti has performed around the globe for decades at Latin and Jazz festivals, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York and the Blue Note Tokyo. Conti has recorded on over 150 albums, in the genres of pop, jazz, Latin jazz, rhythm and blues, disco, New Age music, experimental music, and has served as lead vocalist, backing vocalist, record producer, songwriter, composer, television presenter and bandleader.

Early life[edit]

Conti was born in Brooklyn, where he joined the American Legion's Drum and Bugle Corp at the age of 12. As Doo-wop became popular on the streets of New York and across the nation in the early 1960s, Conti organized a group of street singers and performed in subways and neighborhood hallways. "I grew up in Brooklyn where there was an A Capella group on every corner. Singing Doo Wop was what I did almost every night – in the subway, at school, after school and wherever there was an echo."[11][12]

At the age of 14, his family moved to Los Angeles where during the summer months he learned to play the saxophone, and by his second year at Venice High School Conti played Baritone Sax in the high school dance band, "The Crescendos". He also became the band's featured vocalist,[13] performing in concerts all across the United States. At the same time and all throughout Conti's high school years, he worked with his own five piece band, "The Circle of One",[14] where he wrote all the material and sang the lead vocals.

After high school Conti began college at Santa Monica College but soon thereafter his music took front and center stage. In the summer of 1969 there was a radio contest promoted by Wolfman Jack's radio station XERB, "The Mighty 1090"[15] sponsored by Don Kelly, who at that time managed Wolfman Jack. The ad stated that the contest would be judged by Stevie Wonder's producer, Detroit Motown's legendary writer producer, Clarence Paul who also produced Marvin Gaye. The winner of the contest would get to record an album of music at XERB, be produced by Clarence Paul and become Wolfman Jack's personal back up band. Conti took the challenge and with his band, which included Bruce Turner on guitar (The Strawberry Alarm Clock), Jack Ryland on bass (Three Dog Night), Bart Hall on drums (Paul Horn), and Mike Warren (Diana Ross, Donna Summer), they won the contest.

Managed by Don Kelly, they went on to play performances from local venues to The Forum in L.A., with such artists as Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, and The Temptations. Conti shared a house with Wilson Pickett's producer Yusuf Rahman,[16] which led to him recording an album with Wilson Pickett: Join Me and Let's Be Free.[17][18]

The producer H.B. Barnum heard Conti and his band, "The Circle of One," at a party that was being held at the home of Robert Stack. The next week H.B. took Conti into the studio as a solo artist and recorded two of his original compositions, "Clap in Time" and "Child Again".[19] He was signed by Jubilee Records as songwriter and lead vocalist[20] where "Child Again" was placed on national daily radio rotation.


At 19 years of age Conti auditioned for and got the job as saxophonist and lead vocalist, traveling on the road with the band that backed The Platters.[21] Buck Ram's Original "Platters" group was an American vocal group that had 40 charted singles on the Billboard "Hot 100 Chart" between 1955 and 1967, including four No. 1 hits.[22]

From the age of 20 to the present time, Conti has performed with artists both in the studio and touring, including Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Gene Simmons, Wilson Pickett, Jose Feliciano, Richie Sambora, Paul Simon, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rita Coolidge, Helen Reddy, Karen Carpenter, Laura Brannigan, Player, Raquel Welch, and The Brooklyn Dreams, producing, writing and performing on over 150 albums.[23][24][25] Conti's percussion work has also enhanced orchestras from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to the Academy Awards.

In addition to being a percussionist, Conti is a composer, publisher and musical director. Conti is also a network TV bandleader and "2nd Banana" Sidekick, a.k.a., "Bobalou," for Host Brad Garrett (of Everybody Loves Raymond fame), on the ABC late night talk show, Into The Night, where he also wrote the show's theme song.

Soon thereafter, Conti co-created and served as the host of Road Stories with Frankie Avalon and José Feliciano.[26][27] The theme song for this series was also composed, produced and performed by Conti.

Bob Conti at Montreaux Jazz

Donna Summer years (1977–2010)[edit]

As percussionist, vocalist, and writer, Conti performed with a then virtually unknown artist in the United States by the name of Donna Summer. This journey began in 1977 with an audition and an introduction to Donna by her musical director and Conti's close friend Michael Warren. Donna Summer went on to become the number one act in the world. Through his association with Donna, Conti met famed producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. After hearing Conti's percussion work (live and in the studio), Conti was asked to play on the soon to be double platinum Bad Girls album. He composed a song with Donna Summer on that album: "Can't Get To Sleep at Night".[28][29] Conti wrote another song with Donna and keyboardist Virgil Weber for an album that was to be recorded at her first Hollywood Bowl performance, "Only One Man",[30][31] which was chosen to be the flip side of "Heaven Knows",[32] a duet sung by Donna and Joe "Bean" Esposito on the Live and More album. Conti would sing the duet "Heaven Knows" in concert with Donna whenever Joe was not available. Keith Forsey, drummer, percussionist, producer (Billy Idol, Flashdance, Ghostbusters), hired Conti to perform on his projects, as well. Conti performed with Donna through all the years until her last 2 Hollywood Bowl performances on August 22, 2008 [33] and June 18, 2010.[34]

Jose Feliciano & Bob Conti Epcot Center

José Feliciano years (1982–2016)[edit]

Conti was performing with Raquel Welch at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, when after the show José Feliciano's manager, Rick Hansen, came backstage and asked Conti if he would like to meet and play with Feliciano at his home. They met, played, and became close friends. From then until 2016, Conti continued to tour on the road with Feliciano all around the globe from the United States, to Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe, Israel, Australia, The United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa and beyond. Conti's association with Feliciano was not limited to performing and playing percussion. He has written songs for Feliciano, produced several of his albums, i.e., The Genius of José Feliciano, Volume 1[35] and Volume 2[36] and From the Heart.[37] Together they've also performed and produced many of their original compositions, both live and in the studio. In addition to his professional credits with Feliciano, Conti is the godfather to Melissa Feliciano, the daughter of Susan and Feliciano.

Present day[edit]

Since coming off the road with Feliciano in 2016, Conti has been involved in charitable projects and has established a 501(c)3 Not-for-Profit corporation called "We Celebrate US," dedicated to "giving back", focusing on bringing people together through the arts.

In March 2017, Conti was sworn-in as Cultural Arts Commissioner of the Thousand Oaks, California Cultural Affairs Commission/Alliance for the Arts, a term that will continue through November 2019.[38] The Cultural Affairs Commission (CAC) consists of 11 members and was established by the Thousand Oaks City Council in June 2010. The duty of the CAC is to provide advice on matters pertaining to the arts and cultural development in the city with priority focus on the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza/Center's Fred Kavli Theatre and the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theater.


Award Album Artist Credit Year
Gold The Sound of Vienna José Feliciano Percussion 1988
Gold Escenas de Amor José Feliciano Writer, Percussion 1982
Double Platinum Bad Girls (Donna Summer album) Donna Summer Composer, Percussion 1979
Platinum[39] Live and More Donna Summer Composer, Percussion 1978
Platinum Once Upon a Time Donna Summer Percussion 1977

Soundtracks and theme songs[edit]

Movie/Television Composer Song Year
3:15 - The Moment of Truth Bob Conti, Joe "Bean" Esposito Out of Control 1986[40]
Into The Night - Late Night Talk Show with Brad Garrett Bob Conti Theme Song 1992
Road Stories Bob Conti Theme Song 1992


Album Artist Bob Conti's credit Year
Donna: The CD Collection [41] Donna Summer Percussionist 2014
Groovin' Martini Kings (Tony Marsico) Bongos, Percussionist 2014
Moments Magical [42] Marty Krystall Percussionist 2014
Closer José Feliciano Writer/Composer, Percussionist 2011
The Genius of José Feliciano Vol. 1 José Feliciano Producer, Percussionist, Background Vocalist 2011
The Genius of José Feliciano Vol. 2 José Feliciano Producer, Percussionist, Background Vocals 2011
From the Heart José Feliciano Producer, Percussionist, Background Vocals 2011
Life and the Romantic [43] Bruce Sudano Percussionist 2010
New Morning: The Paris Concert [44] José Feliciano Percussionist, Group Member 2009
Resurrection Swamp Dogg Main Personnel, Congas, Bongos, Percussionist 2007
The Taste of You (Sabor A Mi) Wayne Boyer Congas, Bongos, Percussionist 2007
A Mellow Jazz Christmas Bob Conti Percussionist, Primary Artist 2006
Bob Conti's Big Band Christmas[45] Bob Conti Primary Artist, Percussionist 2006
Pure Liz Story Liz Story Percussionist 2006
Tropical Journeys Bob Conti Primary Artist, producer, Percussionist 2006
Little Drummer Boy Bob Conti Primary Artist, Percussionist 2006
Gold Donna Summer Percussionist 2005
Marcia Greatest Hits Marcia Hines Percussionist 2004
The Collected Works of the Roches The Roches Percussionist 2003
Jazzy Christmas (Vertical Jazz) Bob Conti Percussionist, Primary Artist 2001
Romance & Passion [46] Benise Congas, Bongos, Additional Percussion 2001
Revolution Little Sista Percussionist 2001
Jazz Relaxante[47] Bob Conti, Federico Ramos Primary Artist, Percussionist 2000
Heart & Soul: Romantic Dedications [48] Bob Conti, Federico Ramos, Ramón Stagnaro, Adam Del Monte Producer, Percussionist, Hand Drums, composer 1999
Sounds of Wood and Steel, Vol. 2 Richie Sambora and Various Artists Congas, Djembe 1999
The Art of Storytelling Slick Rick Composer 1999
Santa Fe Spice Bob Conti Producer, performer, composer, Primary Artist, Percussionist 1998
Visions and Rhythms Bob Conti Performer, composer, Primary Artist, Percussionist 1997
Americano José Feliciano Castanets 1996
Music, Harmony and Rhythm: The Casablanca Years Brooklyn Dreams (group) Percussionist 1996
Behind The Memories Rita Coolidge Percussionist 1995
An Evening with Sitting Bull [49] Bob Conti Primary Artist, producer, Percussionist, Concept, composer 1995
Disco Mixes Claudja Barry Percussionist 1995
The Donna Summer Anthology Donna Summer Percussionist 1993
Mistaken Identity (Donna Summer album) Donna Summer Percussionist 1991
Steppin' Out [50][51] José Feliciano Shaker, Triangle, Whistle (Instrument), Percussionist 1990
Joe Bruce & 2nd Avenue Joe Bruce & 2nd Avenue Percussion 1987
Unaccountable Effect Liz Story Percussion 1985
Como Tú Quieres[52] José Feliciano Composer, Percussion 1985
Made in America[53][54] The Carpenters Percussion 1981
Nurds The Roches Percussion 1980
Won't Let Go[55] Brooklyn Dreams (group) Percussion, writer 1980
Jeff Kutash and the Dancin' Machine Jeff Kutash and the Dancin' Machine Percussion 1980
Room with a View Player Percussionist 1980
Bad Girls (Donna Summer album) Donna Summer Composer, Percussionist 1979
Night Miracles Kenny Nolan Percussion 1979
Feel the Fire Claudja Barry Percussion 1979
Joy Ride Brooklyn Dreams Percussion 1979
Live and More Donna Summer Composer, Percussion 1978
Midnight Rhythm Midnight Rhythm Percussion 1978
Getting' The Spirit Roberta Kelly Percussion 1978
M.A.3 M.A.3 Percussion 1978
Once Upon a Time... Donna Summer Percussion 1977
Nature's Secret Michael Casssidy Percussion 1977
A Change of Heart Golden Avatar Percussion 1976
Direct Disco[56] Gino Dentie and the Family Percussion 1976
Join Me and Let's Be Free Wilson Pickett Percussion 1975



  1. ^ "Bob Conti". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "Bob Conti". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "Bob Conti". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "Rita Coolidge - Behind The Memories". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Donna Summer - Bad Girls". Discogs.
  6. ^ "TuneCore is the best way to sell your music on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify & more".
  7. ^ Hall, Daryl. "Daryl Hall and Jose Feliciano Celebrate the Holidays With A Christmas-Themed 37th Edition of Live From Daryl's House".
  8. ^ "Bob Conti on Congas - ¡Viva Conga!". Archived from the original on 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  9. ^ "José Feliciano Setlist at Carnegie Hall, New York".
  10. ^ "Jose Feliciano - Gig Reviews - Music - Entertainment -". 10 April 2008.
  11. ^[dead link]
  12. ^ Mark, David St. "Daeida Magazine: Hollywood's People, Passions and Its Past".
  13. ^ "SingularCity Member Bob Conti". March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "Billboard". January 16, 1971. Retrieved March 23, 2017 – via Google Books.
  15. ^ "XERB Radio 1090 - Wolfman Jack - Southern California Giant - Los Angeles". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "Yusuf Rahman - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  17. ^ "Join Me & Let's Be Free - Wilson Pickett - Song Info - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  18. ^ "Conga TV Interviews Iconic Percussionist Bob Conti - ¡Viva Conga!". Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  19. ^ "Bob Conti - Child Again". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  20. ^ "Bob Conti - Child Again". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  21. ^ Smith, Heather. "Bob Conti Signs with Toca Percussion". Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  22. ^[dead link]
  23. ^ "Bob Conti". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  24. ^ "Bob Conti - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  25. ^ "Bob Conti Discography". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  26. ^ Corporation, XTend Medical. "JoyFull Genius, Inc. Begins Production of "Road Stories with Bob Conti"". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  27. ^ "BOB CONTIS ~ ROAD STORIES - Bob Conti". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  28. ^ "Letra de Can't Get To Sleep At Night - Donna Summer - Lyrics". Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  29. ^ Updike, John (2010). Rabbit Is Rich. Random House Publishing Group. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-307-74409-8.
  30. ^ Lionti, Sebastiano. "Bob Conti Question Time".
  31. ^ Mark, David St. "Daeida Magazine: Hollywood's People, Passions and Its Past".
  32. ^ "Flipside Top 100". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  33. ^ "Set list: Donna Summer at the Hollywood Bowl". 23 August 2008.
  34. ^ "Music review: Donna Summer, Thibaudet, Carpenters kick off the Hollywood Bowl season". 20 June 2010.
  35. ^ "TuneCore is the best way to sell your music on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify & more". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  36. ^é-Feliciano-The-Genius-Of-JF-Vol-2/release/2718884[bare URL]
  37. ^ ""From the Heart" Edition / SOLD OUT". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  38. ^[bare URL PDF]
  39. ^ Hoffmann, Frank (May 23, 2016). Chronology of American Popular Music, 1900-2000. Routledge. ISBN 9781135868864. Retrieved March 23, 2017 – via Google Books.
  40. ^ "3:15". January 31, 1986. Retrieved March 23, 2017 – via IMDb.
  41. ^ "Donna The CD Collection by Donna Summer @ARTISTdirect". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  42. ^ "k2b2 Records".
  43. ^ "Life and the Romantic by Bruce Sudano @ARTISTdirect".
  44. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2017-03-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  45. ^ "Bob Conti's Big Band Christmas - Bob Conti - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  46. ^ "Benise - Romance & Passion [Europa]". Discogs.
  47. ^ "Jazz Relaxante - Bob Conti - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  48. ^ "Heart & Soul: Romantic Dedications - Adam del Monte - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  49. ^ "An Evening with Sitting Bull by Bob Conti @ARTISTdirect". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  50. ^ "Steppin Out by José Feliciano @ARTISTdirect". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  51. ^ "Bob Conti @ARTISTdirect". ARTISTdirect.
  52. ^ "CD Album: José Feliciano - Como Tú Quieres (1984)". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  53. ^ "Made In America". The Carpenters Complete Recording Resource. March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  54. ^ "Made in America - Carpenters - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  55. ^ "Brooklyn Dreams - Won't Let Go". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  56. ^ "Gino Dentie And The Family - Direct Disco". Discogs. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  57. ^ "Bob Conti". Facebook. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  58. ^ "Drummerszone news - Toca Percussion adds Bob Conti to artist roster". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  59. ^ "Artist Roster". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  60. ^ "Photos from Bob Conti (bobcontimusic) on Myspace". Retrieved March 23, 2017.

External links[edit]