Primary Instrument: Congas
“JC” Johnny Conga, a Volcano Percussion endorsee, has been performing for 45 years, as a “multi-percussionist-specialist”, in the Art of Afro-Caribbean Drumming, and Latin-Jazz music.
Some of the Artists that “JC” have worked with cover the gamut of “styles” in the music business. Here is a short list: Sergio Mendes & Brasil 77, Paquito D’Riviera, The Jackson 5, Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, Cerrone(France), Gloria Gaynor and over 100 other major artist’s in the United States and abroad. To date Johnny has been in 150 bands and has done 17 International tours all around the world.
Grammy Member (Pacific Northwest chapter)-“Latin-Rep” Member of BMI as composer/arranger Member of N.A.R.A.S. (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) Member of L.A.R.A.S. (Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) Member of Percussive Arts Society Member of Cirque du Soleil percussionists-2004 World Rhythm Festival Seattle,WA 2009
Weekend Radio Host for KBCS 91.3 FM-“AL LADO LATINO/ON THE LATIN SIDE” on every Saturday at 6 pm PST.USA And online at www.kbcs.fm
Dance Companies: Olatunji Drummers and Dancers-New York City-1965 Chuck Davis Afro-American Dance Co-New York City-1966-74 New York City Ballet Co.-1967-8 Mattie Lascoe Caribbean Splash-Los Angeles-1980 Miami City Ballet Co.-Miami,Fla.-1994-7 “Drummin”-Tania Leon(Cuba)-Miami/Germany-1997
Released first CD 1994 called Johnny Conga & Caribe + Roots of Rhythm on Skyward records. Recognized by State of Florida as “Folklorist”-1997
Former P.A.C. E.(performing arts and cultural education) Artist for Dade County, Florida 1995
Over 200 Recordings on Columbia-ABC-Polygram-Island-Roxbury-Skyward-Infinity-Cuni and others. Producers: Holland Dozier & Holland,George S Clinton- Cheech and Chong- Trevor Lawrence- John Arrias- Pete Moore(The Miracles), John Robinson, Ken Mansfield, and Steve and Nat Kipner.(short list).
My education: I learned from a Cuban Uncle on how to play the bongos at the age of 6….in public school I had basic music and learned to play recorder. I moved on to flute and played for 3 years until the age of 14 when I started to learn to play the Conga drum. I had 2 Teachers. Mr. “Hank” Fields who gave me technique and basic understanding..then I was taught what it means to be a “Dance Musician” by Mr. George “Sabu” Caldwell the 3rd. who played with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and toured with Katherine Dunham Caribbean Dance Co. he taught me rhythms, theory, counting, and about time.
Attended Jazzmobile-IS 201-NYCity, studied Jimbe with Ritchie “Pablo” Landrum, Yomi Yomi Awoldwo and drumset with Charlie Persip. Attended the East 3rd St. Music Settlement in 1972, and the Johnny Colon School of Music NYC .took lessons with Manny Oquendo(Orch. Libre) and Nicky Marrero(Fania All Star). Took timbale lessons with Ubaldo Nieto(Machito’s drummer)
I attended Columbia Broadcasting School in Hollywood,CA for Broadcasting-1977 I have been a “radio host’ now for over 20 years on both coasts. Starting in 1977 at KXLU 88.9fm in Los Angeles for 5 years. Then I was with WDNA 88.9 in Miami,Fla. For 12 years, and now with my own show at KBCS 91.3fm Bellevue,WA for 4 years.
Former Adjunct Lecturer at Cornish College of the Arts,Seattle,WA Pacific Lutheran University,Olympia,WA Bellevue Community College, Bellevue,WA University of Washington. Seattle,WA Music Works Northwest, Bellevue,WA University of Miami-Dept. of Perc. 1990-91
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Currently offering a "Conga-Camp/Intensive. It's where you can live in my home for up to 5 days and I teach you for 6 hours a day(room and food included), See Bio for Institutions I have taught and worked at.