Joe Conti was born in New Jersey and lived in Indiana and Los Angeles before moving to Kona in 1982. His father played mandolin and both brothers play guitar and drums.
After early lessons on piano, Joe started playing the electric bass in 1974. In 1976, he first heard Emmett Chapman performing on his instrument- invention, The Chapman Stick Touchboard, at a small Los Angeles club. Joe also met and started playing music with Jim Summey at Taft High School in Los Angeles.
Over time the Chapman Stick became the prominent instrument for Joe. After moving to Hawaii with Lava Rocks Band member Jim Summey in 1982, they played with many top local artists and in 1990 started collaborating with Kunia Galdeira.
Joe co-founded the Lava Rocks Band with Grammy winner Larry Seyer in 2014.
The Chapman Stick pictured here is made of purple heart wood. This instrument is a custom made with fretless bass on the bottom 3 bass strings, so it is unique among Stcks.
The Stick is an expanded grid of strings and frets. It’s like having “an Orchestra on a 2 X 4!”
He played at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel with Bernie Hall-Mann in 1983, and in 1984 toured Europe and America as a technician with the legendary Frank Zappa.
One of Joe’s greatest assets is his ability to be flexible in a wide variety of settings. He has played hundreds of conventions, weddings and partys all along the Kona Coast and on Maui, Oahu and Lanai. When Joe performs as a soloist at restaurants or special functions, he will play instrumental and vocal versions of popular songs, Latin and jazz standards, soft rock and also Hawaiian music.