Dancing Drums

Luis Conte

Luis_Conte.jpgPerhaps no form of music is more elemental than percussion. Be it rock, jazz, blues, or otherwise, the heart of all rhythm is the drum. Spending the first 15 years of his life absorbing the musical heritage of his native Cuba, Luis Conte realized this early. What he did not realize, however, was that by immersing himself in cultural music during his youth, he was building the foundation for life as a world-class musician.

Conte’s hallmark ability to integrate Cuban rhythm with pop music has earned him a spot in the pantheon of percussion. There’s hardly a contemporary artist who hasn’t sought him out: Madonna, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Santana, Jackson Browne, and Ozzy Osbourne are all colleagues. And the scores of such films as Miami Vice, Mission Impossible, Drumline, Ocean’s Twelve, and Rain Man wouldn’t be the same without him.

Conte is now traveling with his clinic to teach musicians all over the globe about the history and technique of Afro-Cuban rhythm. Fortunately for us, this will land him in our own backyard this weekend. On Saturday, March 3, Conte will be sharing the stage at SOhO with Santa Barbara’s own Dancing Drum and Cuba L.A., a collection of legendary Cuban musicians from Los Angeles. The show begins at 9 p.m.

But Conte’s stay doesn’t end there. The next day he will be hosting two seminars on Afro-Cuban drumming and percussion at the Dancing Drum Rhythm & Art Center. Preregistration for this event is highly recommended, as classes are limited to 20 people. Don’t miss this chance to learn from the best!

See or call 682-8250.

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