Conjunto Picante - Biography

cp_logo_300Conjunto Picante was born in 2009 from a collaboration of artists from the San Francisco Bay area seeking to express themselves in the field of Salsa. We are a group of accomplished musicians with a passion and dedication to bring back the 70's chart-busting "Hard Salsa" from such renowned artists as Ismael Quintana, Justo Betancourt, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Sonora Poncena, Lalo Rodriguez, Louie Romero and other great salsa artists of yesterday and today.  Founder and Composer Tony Rodriguez's 11-piece orchestra cultivates a full and vibrant mix, portraying the sounds that are reminiscent of the Salsa era that brought these great artists to the forefront of Latin music. Picante's musicians are accomplished performers who have studied their craft in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, NYC, LA and anywhere else exciting music is being created.

Our current lineup :
Tony "DJ" Rodriguez (vocals, coro)
Sanjay "Sanjito" Datta (piano, vocals, coro)
Burt Baca (bajo)
Norm Downing (conguero, bongocero)
Jorge Pineda (timbalero)
Rene Valdeolivar (bongocero)
Cris Matos (vocals, coro)
Adam Cath (trumpet)
Tom Kyrimis (trombone)
Lady J aka "Sleepless" (tenor sax, flute)

Special guests, alumnos y alumnas:
Patricia Thumas, Al Conde, German Ruiz, Richard Hall, Gaea Schell (piano)
Reid Watley, Rene Valdeolivar (bongocero)
Ron Estrada, Michael Stephenson (bajo)

Lee Siegel, Chris Anderson, trombone
Paul Giorsetto, Paul McCue, Mike Whealey, Mike Parykaza (trumpet)
Carlos "Cookie" Gonzales (tumbadoras)
Jose Martinez, Susan Kaye, Frank Thude, Vicente Ponciano (congas)

Carlos "El Zorro" Lopez, Roque Baron (vocals, coro)
Inés Vargas Fraenkel,Catherine Aranda, Lilanna Herrera, Cecily May (vocals, coro)