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 fusion 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, as well as I Mother Earth's first two albums Dig (1994) and Scenery and Fish (1996).
Recently, 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.
In 1999 Conte collaborated in Maná MTV Unplugged project.
In 2009 worked together with Sergio Vallín in his Bendito Entre
"I really don't know how I got started playing. As far back as my memory will go, I owned a drum. It's like asking someone how long they've been breathing."
Luis Conte’s genius stems from his ability to integrate the powerful rhythms of his native Cuba with the American necessities of American pop music. His long and varied career has included numerous Hollywood film scores and mega-successful albums with Madonna, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Santana, Shakira, Jackson Browne, Sergio Mendes, Cachao, and a multitude of other artists too numerous to mention.
Born in Santiago, Cuba, Luis spent the first 15 years of his life soaking up the rich musical heritage of “El Son” and Carnival. "Life in Cuba is all about enjoying life, and music is central to that lifestyle," Luis says. "Music is almost like food to Cuban people.” While immersed in the music of his native Cuba, Luis also developed a passion for Rock & Roll, R&B soul music, jazz, and the Beatles.
At 15, looking for freedom, Luis emigrated to Madrid, Spain. He soon had another opportunity to travel, this time to Hollywood. In California, Luis stayed with a cousin and attended Hollywood High School, playing guitar in numerous rock bands throughout his teens.
After high school, Luis met John Monteallegre, who reunited him with Cuban drums at LA City College. By the time he was 18, Luis was intensely interested in drumming and took every opportunity to play and to learn, drawing his inspiration from a deep source of rhythm absorbed during his youth in Cuba.
Since then, Luis has become one of the most respected and recorded percussionists in the world.
Some of Luis’ musical influences:
All the drummers that play in Carnival in Santiago
Mongo Santa Maria
"Percussionist of the Year" - Modern Drummer Reader's Poll (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
"Percussionist of the Year" - Drum Magazine (2007, 2008, 2009)
"Studio Percussionist of the Year" - Drum Magazine (2007, 2008, 2009)