In the course of his long career, conguero Eddie Montalvo has recorded and performed with some of the brightest of Latin-music luminaries: Fania All Stars, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, and Johnny Pacheco, for example.
Today, he frequently shares the stage with actor, singer, and salsa-crossover star Ruben Blades, in concert venues as wide-ranging as the White House, Hollywood's House of Blues, and Amnesty International concerts in Chile. As the conga player in Blades' 11-piece ensemble Son del Solar, Montalvo appears on the critically acclaimed album, "Ruben Blades y Son del Solar --Live!" He also performs on Paul Simon's 1997 release, "Songs from The Capeman," a selection of tunes from the Latin-flavored Broadway show by the same name.
New York-based Montalvo is known for his rock-steady time and his ability to "lock in" with other rhythm players. In the 1970s, many a beginning player studied Latin rhythms by listening to his popular series of instruction albums, (recorded in the home-studio of LP Founder Martin Cohen). Montalvo is also the man behind the mambo beat in several dance-instruction videos by New York's Latin-dance master Eddie Torres.
Growing up in the Bronx, Montalvo began playing bongos at age ten, and by seventeen he was playing congas professionally. His early influences include Tata Guines, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Sabu Martinez, and Armando Peraza. Montalvo's first conga was the LP Original Conga.