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|Born||16 November 1954|
|Associated acts||James 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 who has backed acts such as James Taylor, Madonna, Pat Metheny Group, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart and Shakira. 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, among dozens or hundreds of other tv and film projects.
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.
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.
- La cocina caliente (1987)
- Black Forest (1989)
- En casa de Luis (BFM Jazz, 2011)
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With George Cables
- Shared Secrets (MuseFX, 2001)