Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest percussionists of all time, Puerto Rico born LP artist, Giovanni Hidalgo, began playing percussion at the age of five. Born into a family of musicians, Giovanni first played on a set of congas handcrafted by his father, the great Jose "Maneñgue" Hidalgo. He also practiced on other percussion instruments, developing the lightning fast precision technique for which he is noted today.
Giovanni first became popular outside of Puerto Rico in the early eighties when traveling to Cuba to work with the group Batacumbele, in which he forged his life-long friendship with Changuito. Hidalgo soon after appeared on Batacumele's debut album, which has subsequently become a cult favorite. Featuring his incredible hand-drumming technique, the album shot Giovanni to instant prominence. Inspired by his method, musicians incorporated it into their own, hybrid musical style called Songo.
While performing with Eddie Palmieri in New York, Giovanni forged another life-long friendship, this time with Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he toured in 1988 as a member of Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra. He has also toured extensively with Tito Puente and Mickey Hart's Planet Drum, and has performed with the likes of Dave Valentin, Paquito d'Rivera, and Carlos Santana. A noted session player, Giovanni has recorded with numerous distinguished musicians, including Freddy Hubbard, Paul Simon and Mickey Hart.
In 1992, Giovanni accepted a teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. That same year, he released his first solo album, Villa Hidalgo, followied it up with Worldwide in 1993. His collaborative effort with pianist, Michel Camilo, Hands of Rhythm, released in 1997, was nominated for a Grammy award in The Best Latin Jazz category.
An unrivaled performer, whose skill and technique are admired by percussionists around the world, Giovanni is constantly evolving as a musician. His style is a melding of Latin, jazz, and folkloric influences, delivered in his signature nimble handed fashion.
A number of innovative products have flowed from Giovanni's long time collaboration with LP, including the LP Galaxy Giovanni Congas, Bongos and Djembe, LP Giovanni Compact Conga, the vintage style LP Giovanni Palladium Congas as well as the LP Prestige Series Giovanni Timbales. All LP Giovanni instruments have elicited accolades worldwide. In particular, the Giovanni Compact Conga, a portable, shellless hand drum that delivers a surprisingly rich and authentic conga sound for practice or recording, won a 2003 Musikmesse press award (MIPA), voted tops in the percussion category by representatives of musical instrument magazines from around the globe.