Luis Conte

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Luis Conte
Born (1954-11-16) 16 November 1954 (age 65)
Associated actsJames Taylor, Madonna, Al Dimeola, Pat Metheny Group, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Jaguares, Phil Collins, Maná, Shakira

Luis Conte (born 16 November 1954) is a Cuban percussionist[1] who has backed acts such as James Taylor, Madonna, Pat Metheny Group, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart and Shakira.[2] He immigrated to Los Angeles in 1967, where he attended Los Angeles City College studying music, and entrenched himself in the music community. Conte began his music career as a studio musician for Latin Jazz acts like Caldera. His live performance and touring career took off when he joined Madonna's touring band in the 1980s. To date, Conte has built an extremely successful career including a run composing and playing in ABC TV’s Dancing with the Stars band,[3] among dozens or hundreds of other tv and film projects.

Early years[edit]

As a child in Cuba, Conte began his musical odyssey playing the guitar. However, he soon switched to percussion, and that has remained his primary instrument ever since.

He was sent to Los Angeles by his parents in 1967, in order to prevent him from being forced to serve in the Cuban military. This was a turning point in Conte's life, as the musical community in Los Angeles during this period was quite vibrant. It was during this period that he studied at Los Angeles City College.

Musical career[edit]

Luis Conte (rear), plays with James Taylor's "Band of Legends."

Conte proved himself versatile musically, and by 1973, he was playing regularly in local clubs. He quickly became a busy studio musician, and throughout the 1970s, he played in the Latin Jazz band Caldera.

In the 1980s, Conte toured with several different musicians, including Madonna, guitarist Al Di Meola, and Andy Narell. His debut as a bandleader came in 1987, when he released La Cocina Caliente, which included a Latinized version of Chopin's "Susarasa". Conte also played percussion on the Pat Metheny Group release 'We Live Here', in 1995, on the Pat Metheny 'From This Place', in 2020 as well as I Mother Earth's first two albums Dig (1994) and Scenery and Fish (1996).

Recently[when?], Conte has toured as part of James Taylor's "Band of Legends." He has also played alongside such famed musicians as Alex Acuña, Jaguares, Larry Klimas, and David Garfield, both as a bandleader and a sideman.

Luis Conte was part of Phil Collins 1997 "Dance into the Light" tour and 2004 "First Farewell Tour", performing in both of them Afro-Cuban percussion and adding more depth into the concert songs. He also performed during The Phil Collins Big Band tours in 1996 and 1998 and again during the Phil Collins Not Dead Yet tours 2017/2018.

In 1999 Conte collaborated in Maná MTV Unplugged project.

In 2009 worked together with Sergio Vallín in his Bendito Entre Las Mujeres album.


  • La cocina caliente (1987)
  • Black Forest (1989)
  • En casa de Luis (BFM Jazz, 2011)

As sideman[edit]

With George Cables


  1. ^ Tarradel, Mario (June 13, 2003). "The world according to Ziggy". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Louis Conte | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  3. ^ "Luis Conte". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-10-20.


External links[edit]