Laguna Beach, Ca, United States
Mark D’Antonio is a professional Conga player previously residing on the island of Maui. He has been a ‘student of the drum’ since age 9, and has been professionally sponsored by LP, Inc. since 1986; studying drum kit with a host of talented instructors and mentors. A musical epiphany at age 15 (mesmerized by Armando Peraza’s brilliant conga playing) ignited the proverbial “light bulb” over his head and he switched from studying drum kit to Conga drums (tumbadoras) and all things Afro-Carribean, with a focus on Cuban rhythms.
The rich abundance of West African drumming and dance (brought by slaves to the Caribbean), fused with the instrumentation, song forms and melodic richness of the Spanish colonists resulted in a cultural phenomenon that has yielded more musical wealth than most countries ten times Cuba’s size. The mixing of an established African polyrhythmic, call-and-response musical foundation introduced musical concepts that we take for granted in popular music these days.