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Bob Conti

Performer - Composer - Producer

About

Bob Conti was spotlighted in People Magazine as "producer, percussionist, performer and writer." A traveling as well as recording musician since the early 70's, Bob has written and performed on over 50 domestic albums and over 150 albums worldwide. He has worked with stars such as Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Wilson Pickett, Paul Simon, Ritchie Sambora (of Bon Jovi), and Jose Feliciano, and continues to work with the greatest artisis on the planet.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bob was introduced into the world of music at an early age. His father was a sax player who also composed and played keyboards. "He was my inspiration to become a musician. As I was growing up, there was a 'Do Wop' a capella group on every corner. So singing was what I did almost every night – in the subway, in the hallways, at school, after school – wherever there was an echo."

When he was ten, Bob and his mother left the increasingly dangerous neighborhood in Brooklyn for sunny California – more specifically, Los Angeles. They settled in Venice, right across from the Venice High School marching band rehearsal site on Venice Blvd. "I heard the drums and was hooked. I practiced all summer and when the school year rolled around I made the marching band as a drummer." Bob studied baritone saxophone in school, and eventually got the baritone sax chair in the dance band. Throughout high school, he played both on drums in the marching band and on sax in orchestra and the dance band. On weekends, Bob fronted a five-piece party band for which he not only sang lead, but also wrote songs to perform live.

Bob's first real job plaing music came in the early 70's with the Buck Rams, the original Platter vocal group, with whom he travelled the chitterling circuit all through the South and down to Florida. That was an experience of a lifetime," says Bob. "It all snowballed from there." Soon he was singing, playing baritone sax and touring the US with various R&B bands, lke The Platters, The Emotions, Arby Greaves, The Temptations, Rufas Thomas' daughter Carla, Wilson Pickett, and so many other R&B greats. "But my natural talents were with ryth instruments," Bob reminisces. "Latin percussion came easy to me. I would hear it and I could play it, simple as that."

Since then, Bob has coninued to sing and play Latin Percussion instruments – congas, bongos, timales and toys – with stars such as Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Ritchie Sambora (of Bon Jovi) and Jose Feliciano. Aside from being an accomplished performer, Bob has been a successful songwriter, composing songs for the likes of Donna Summer and Jose Feliciano.

Bob's friendship and collaboration with Jose Feliciano has had great impact on his life. "Jose and I have been friends since the early 80's, when I was working in Vegas with Raquel Welch. I was invited to his home in Villa Park, California, where we jammed in his music studio. We hit it off and became best friends – I'm godfather to his daughter, Melissa. Our friendship has become a brotherhood. We both grew up in New York around the same time and shared the same musical tastes – the great R&B classics. I would bring my music on the road, we would both plug in our headsets and instantly we were transported back to the wonderful music of our early years."

Bob witnessed some difficulties that Jose was facing in the 90's, when labels seemed to be more interested in boy bands catering to preteens. After seeing an interview on network television where Jose talked about retiring from the music business, incredulous, Bob immediately called him. He invited him to fly out to California to stay with him and suggested that they work on some music together. That's how they came to work on their first project, The Genius of Jose Feliciano. Bob's "friend and other brother," Wayne Boyer – "a brilliant arranger and musician" – had a small studio at the time. "We put our heads and our hearts together and finished a beautiful album. Since then," Bob beams, "Jose's spirits have never been higher and he just snatched his eighth Grammy." The Genius of Jose Feliciano, Vol. 2 is now in the works.


When he's not out performing on the road, Bob Conti continues to write, produce and perform every style from jazz to rap. As he puts it, "It's all just music."

 

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