Nicola Conte is an Italian DJ/ producer known for introducing an innovative style of acid jazz that blends classic jazz with hot bossa nova grooves, smokey tracks from ‘60s and ‘70s Italian film scores, and world music themes. Conte, originally a classically-trained musician, is mastermind of Fez, a collective of Italian acid jazz revivalists centered in the Italian town of Bari. Conte has worked with musicians like the Intensive Jazz Sextet, the Paolo Achenza Trio, the Fez Combo, Balanco, Quintetto X, Greyboy, Eli Goulart, Yoshinori Sunahara, Trüby Trio, Re:Jazz, The Dining Rooms, Five Corners Quintet. His first album, Jet Sounds (2000) was distributed in the US by Thievery Corporation's Eighteenth Street Lounge (ESL) label a year later as Bossa Per Due. This was followed by the Jet Sounds Revisited remix album in late 2002 that featured groovy remixes by Kyoto Jazz massive, Koop, Thievery Corporation, Barbara De Dominicis, Les Gammas, and other heavy hitters in the nu-jazz downtempo scene. Two years later, Blue Note's French subsidiary released Conte's next album Other Directions.
I saw him last summer on two different occasion, once in CIELO (NYC) where he played an amazing DJ set, and a few months later in Budapest. He was playing live on A38 , one of Budapest’s floating concert venues (a converted Ukrainian stone carrier boat with an incredible view of the city)…It was one of the most memorable concerts I’ve been (only comparable to memories of seeing Mos Def, The Roots or Beth Gibbons of Portishead live…). Conte brought along with his band a beautiful, velvety-voiced chanteuse, reminiscent of Billie Holiday. Ahh, nothing's like live music!