Wimer Sifontes From Caracas Venezuela, is one of London’s most accomplished, outstanding and prolific percussionists. He studied at The Roberto Marcano School (part of the Association of musicians institute), and Fundacion Bigott, an institute dedicated to the study of Traditional Venezuelan Folkloric music. He also studied with Venezuelan percussionists such as Orlando Poleo, Alberto Borregales and Andres Briceño.
In Venezuela he worked with The Erik Franceski y Su Orquesta salsa band, as well as touring extensively throughout South America and Europe, with Afro-Venezuelan groups Autoctono and Entreverao, playing in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Portugal and Spain, finally settling in the UK in 1996.
He has played in some of the most prestigious international festivals around the world, such as Womad Festival, Glastonbury Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Beijing International Festival (China), Bath International Festival (UK), Sea Side Jazz Festival (Croatia) and the Kijanii Festival in Nairobi (Kenya).
He is musical director for several projects in cluding UK’s leading Salsa band Conjunto Sabroso, with whom he has toured extensively, as well as backing international Salsa stars such as Fania All Stars legend Adalberto Satiago, Jose Mangual Junior, Maelo Ruiz, Tito Gomez, Tito Nieves, Cano Estremera, Henry Fiol, to name a few. He also directs his own Afro Venezuelan ensemble ‘Afro-American Project’.
Wilmer is both an excellent musician and teacher, and has featured as guest percussion workshop leader in Southampton University, Sussex University, Ulster University in Ireland and Kenyatta University in Nairobi Kenya, also at The CALARTS Intstitute in Los Angeles, The Bath International Festival, The Barbican Centre, The Royal Festival Hall, and places such as Devon and Exeter where he has guided the recently formed Salsa bands.
He has established himself as one of the UK’s leading Latin percussionists, and has worked with some of the UK’s leading bands and World music artists, such as Salsa Celtica, including 2 world and USA tours, celebrated Sitar and Tabla player Baluji Shrivastav, Iranian percussionist Hussain Zahawy, The Elliptics, British-Colombian drum and bass project Side Stepper, and Colombian Latin Grammy award winners Aterciopelados. Most recently he directed and produced the music for ‘Amazonas Spectacular Contemporary Carnival’, as well recording with 'Clasico Latino' who featured Andres Cepeda as one of their special guests in the album, and directed and produced the new album for Conjunto Sabroso 'Ya Tengo Lo Que Queria'.
Afro-American Project Led by master percussionist Wilmer Sifontes, the band plays a mix of Afro-Venezuelan and Caribbean popular music, from the calypsos of the southern gold-mining town of Callao to the local tambores (drums) of the coast of Venezuela.
'CONJUNTO SABROSO' LATIN BAND
Renowned for their authentic swing and lively presence on stage, Conjunto Sabroso is one of London's most established, prolific and exciting Latin bands, with a tradition for mixing all kinds of authentic and infectious Afro-Latin styles. Their performance is a percussive explosion of old school Salsa, Son, Guajira, Cha cha cha, Bolero and heavy Cumbia, that keeps audiences glued to the dance floor wherever they play. Fronted by the captivating Colombian singer Luz Elena Caicedo, and under the direction of Master percussionist Wilmer Sifontes from Venezuela, they bring together some of the most experienced musicians in the Latin circuit, to produce their own distinctive and original sound. Their International profile has been greatly enhanced by appearances all over the UK, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, China and Kenya, as well as European tours backing International artists from Puerto Rico, New York, Cuba, Colombia and Venezuela such as: Adalberto Santiago (Fania all Stars), Jose Mangual Junior, Henry Fiol, Tito Gomez, Tito Nieves, Tony Vega, Pedro Arroyo Cano Estremera, Luisito Carrion, Maelo Ruiz, Roberto Torres, Rodolfo Aicardi and Luis Felipe Gonzalez amongst others. Conjunto Sabroso have recenltly released their new album 'Ya Tengo Lo Que Queria' - 'I've Got What I Wanted' which is full of great rhythm and original dance tunes, which they will be taking on tour. They have received rave reviews in the UK and Latin America.
Conjunto Sabroso 'Salsa That's hot as hell'
'Ya Tengo Lo Que Queria' Doesn't sound like an album made in London. In that sense, it's great evidence of the talent among the Latin Americans currently living in the UK, two of whom define the sound of Conjunto Sabroso: Colombian lead vocalist Luz Elena Caicedo and Venezuelan master percussionist Wilmer Sifontes. Their self-released album demonstrates why many consider them to be the finest Salsa group London has'. (Russ Slater Songlines Magazine)