David was born on March 13, 1961 in Harbor City,
CA, grew up in Wilmington, CA and has been no stranger to jazz music. At
the age of 5, he began playing drums. There was always music in his
home. His grandfather, Gus Mora played Spanish guitar. His grandmother,
Alma Mora, a Hawaiian native played ukulele. His father, David Sr.
listened to blues and jazz. As a self taught drummer, listening to a
wide variety of genres influenced his style and technique.
In 1979, David bought his first set of conga drums. In 1981, he landed a
job at the legendary Concerts By The Sea in Redondo Beach, CA, where the
heavyweights of jazz came to play. "I was getting my education" says
David, "listening and watching the greatest players in the world!"
Players such as Mongo Santamaria, Willie
Bobo, Pete Escovedo, Poncho Sanchez, Dizzy Gillespie, Alex Acuna,
Justo Almario, Giovani Hidalgo, Long John Oliva, Johnny “Guitar “
Watson, Bobby Blue Bland , Freddy Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, Kenny G, Diane
Schuur, etc. Listening night after night affected him deeply.
David began performing at the age of 21, when he had his
first professional gig at "Lil Archies" playing top 40 tunes.
Throughout the years David has had three exceptional percussion
teachers; Robertito Melendez, Arturo Oliva and Long John Oliva. David
had the opportunity in 2003 to be executive producer on Long John
Oliva's CD "Buscando La Ortographia". Long John, who passed away in
2004, "was one of the greatest congueros and best teachers I ever had"
says David. "He gave me the most and expected me to play hard and good.
He taught me Afro-Cuban, Folklore and Rumba. I miss him very much".
Today, in addition to performing with his band "David Mora and the Conga
Lovers", David has played gigs with
musicians Kim Richmond, Mark Massy, Jeff Kashiwa, Hirth Martinez, George
Llanes, Long John Oliva, Bobby Loya, his cousin Rocky Padilla, Bobby
Navarette, Alex Cabrera, Karl Carrasco, Sal Rodriguez, rappers Blindo
and Macho and new artists Tay, Bette Stuy and Nidia Torres. He performs
regularly with local groups Azure and The Ruben Castellanos Latin Jazz
Group. David was executive producer on, Buscando La Ortografia, with
Long John Oliva of Cuba, which was one of the greatest congueros in the
world, who also worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Willie Bobo, Strunz and
Farah and Jackson Brown.
His debut CD "Conga Love" includes an original song used in the
documentary "From Wharf Rats To Lord Of The Docks", a film about Harry
Bridges, the founder of the West Coast Longshoremen's Union. "Harry
Bridges Mambo" is an uplifting unity song intended to join all the
national and international union locals. (David is also a Longshoreman
working in the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.)
"The entire CD is a reflection of me"
says David. "Jazz, Straight or Latin, Brazilian, Rumba, R&B, Funk,
Blues and Spiritual. That's me, that's what I am. Enjoy and God Bless!"
Other outstanding musicians on "Conga Love" include Alex Acuna, Acuna's
lovely daughter Regina on vocals, Justo Almario, Joe Rotundi, John Pena,
Bobby Rodriguez, Francisco Torres, Victor Pantoja, and Bobby Loya.
|What You Won't Do For
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For more information about David visit
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