Luis Conte

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Luis Conte
Luis Conte in 2008
Luis Conte in 2008
Background information
Birth nameLuis Cristóbal Conte
Born (1954-11-16) 16 November 1954 (age 69)

Luis Conte (born 16 November 1954) is a Cuban percussionist[1] best-known for his performances in the bands of artists including James Taylor, Madonna, Pat Metheny Group, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart and Shakira.[2][3][4] He began his music career as a studio musician for Latin Jazz acts like Caldera.[5] Conte's live performance and touring career took off when he joined Madonna's touring band in the 1980s.[6] Neil Strauss of The New York Times describes Conte's playing as "grazing Latin-style percussion".[7]

Conte immigrated to Los Angeles in 1967, where he attended Los Angeles City College studying music, and entrenched himself in the music community.[8] Conte's career includes composing and playing in ABC TV's Dancing with the Stars band,[9] along with many TV and film projects.[10][11][8]

Early years[edit]

Conte was born in Santiago de Cuba. As a child, Conte began his musical odyssey playing the guitar. However, he soon switched to percussion, and that has remained his primary instrument ever since.[11]

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.[8]

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.[2]

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 (1993) and Scenery and Fish (1996).

Conte has toured as part of James Taylor's "Band of Legends." He has also played alongside musicians including Alex Acuña, Jaguares, Larry Klimas, and David Garfield, both as a bandleader and a sideman.[2]

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.[3]

In 1999 Conte collaborated in Maná MTV Unplugged project.

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


As leader/co-leader[edit]

  • La Cocina Caliente (Denon, 1987)
  • Black Forest (Denon, 1989)
  • The Road (Weber Works, 1995)
  • Cuban Dreams (Unitone Recording, 2000)
  • En Casa De Luis (BFM Jazz, 2011)

As sideman (in alphabetical order)[edit]

With Peter Allen

With Anastacia

With Angelica

  • Angelica (Arista Records, 1997)

With Paul Anka

  • Rock Swings (Verve, 2005)

With Patti Austin

  • On the Way to Love (Warner Bros. Records, 2001)
  • Sound Advice (Shanachie Records, 2011)

With George Benson

With Michelle Branch

With Jackson Browne

With George Cables

With Glen Campbell

With Belinda Carlisle

With Steven Curtis Chapman

With Cher

With Chicago

With Toni Childs

With Joe Cocker

With Natalie Cole

With Phil Collins and The Phil Collins Big Band

With Rita Coolidge

  • Behind the Memories (Pony Canyon Records, 1995)

With David Crosby

With Gavin DeGraw

With Céline Dion

With Lara Fabian

With Clare Fischer

With John Fogerty

With Aretha Franklin

With Nelly Furtado

  • Loose (Interscope Records, 2006)

With Charlotte Gainsbourg

  • IRM (Elektra Records, 2009)

With Josh Groban

With Thelma Houston

With Al Jarreau

With Jewel

With Elton John

With Gregg Karukas

  • Sound Of Emotion (Positive Music Records, 1991)
  • Summerhouse (101 South Records, 1994)
  • You'll Know It's Me (Fahreheit Records, 1995)
  • Blue Touch (i.e. music, 1998)
  • Nightshift (N-Coded Music, 2000)
  • Heatwave (N-Coded Music, 2002)
  • GK (Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records, 2009)

With Chaka Khan

With Patti LaBelle

With David Lasley

With Julian Lennon

With Kenny Loggins

With Madonna

With Ziggy Marley

With Richard Marx

With Christine McVie

With Bette Midler

With Kylie Minogue

With Michael Nesmith

With Jennifer Paige

With Bonnie Raitt

With Emily Remler

With LeAnn Rimes

With Linda Ronstadt

With Brenda Russell

  • Kiss Me with the Wind (A&M Records, 1990)
  • Soul Talkin' (EMI, 1993)
  • Between the Sun and the Moon (Dome Records, 2004)

With Boz Scaggs

With Selena

With Shakira

With Vonda Shepard

  • Vonda Shepard (Reprise Records, 1989)

With Lisa Stansfield

With Rod Stewart

With Curtis Stigers

  • Brighter Days (Columbia Records, 1999)

With Barbra Streisand

With James Taylor

With Terence Trent D'Arby

With Julieta Venegas

With Roger Waters

With Tony Joe White

  • Lake Placid Blues (Remark Records, 1995)
  • One Hot July (Mercury Records, 1998)

With Deniece Williams

  • Special Love (MCA Records, 1989)

With Paul Young

With Carlos Santana (Supernatural) BMG 2000

With Warren Zevon


  1. ^ Tarradel, Mario (June 13, 2003). "The world according to Ziggy". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Louis Conte | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  3. ^ a b Greene, Andy (2016-10-24). "Phil Collins Opens Up About Comeback Tour, More Shows". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  4. ^ Himes, Geoffrey (1995-03-17). "METHENY HITS R&B CHORDS". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  5. ^ "Luis Conte Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  6. ^ "Luis Conte | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  7. ^ Mattingly, Rick (2013-07-25). Latin Percussion. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.a2242064.
  8. ^ a b c "Luis Conte | International Musician". Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  9. ^ "DANCING WITH THE STARS". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  10. ^ "MUSIC : Percussionist a Man of World : Don't call Luis Conte a jazz/Latin/pop musician. He plays all that, but he transcends labels". Los Angeles Times. 1995-07-28. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  11. ^ a b Jazz, All About. "Jazz news: Luis Conte's "En Casa De Luis" Features The Many Sides Of The Powerful Percussionist". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  12. ^ a b Lord, Tom (1993). The Jazz Discography, Vol. 7. West Vancouver, B.C.: Lord Music Reference. p. F134. ISBN 188199306X.
  13. ^ Feather, Leonard (February 22, 1981). "Jazz Albums: Bill Evans, a Rewarding Set". Los Angeles Times. p. N61. ProQuest 152690323. '2+2.' Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante. Pausa 7086. Leading his Latin combo from the electric keyboards, Fischer has augmented the group with two male and two female singers. Their blend is splendid, they are at times expertly integrated with the band through Fischer's compositions, lyrics and arrangements; and they are quadrilingual, starting in German and proceeding to English, Spanish and doo-bee-doo, the Esperanto of jazz. The rhythm, generally timbale-oriented, could have used more bottom. Darlene Koldenhoven, the lead soprano, is a striking discovery. Four stars.
  14. ^ Feather, Leonard (July 4, 1982). "Jazz Album Briefs". Los Angeles Times. p. M57. ProQuest 153179247. 'And Sometimes Voices.' Clare Fischer. Discovery DS-852. One can't be sure what to expect of this protean composer/keyboarder. The mixture now includes four singers, a hint of humorous quasi-country, Cuban and Mexican touches and a serenely lovely, mantra-like 'Canto.' 'La Ronda' has an ingenious Spanish/English vocal. Brent Fischer, the excellent electric bassist, is the leader's 17-year-old son. 4 stars.


External links[edit]