B i o g r a p h y

The Milwaukee-based Carlos Adames Group follows in the footsteps of great latin jazz innovators, combining elements of traditional and modern latin rhythms with dynamic jazz harmonies to create an exciting new sound. Panamanian-born conguero Carlos Adames leads the group, drawing from his encyclopedic knowledge of the rhythms of the world in his compositions and performance. A talent on the congas, bata, and drumset, Adames has appeared all over the United States and Latin America, dazzling audiences with his explosive solos and intricate patterns. Experienced bandleader and timbalero Tony Ayala provides the rhythmic backbone with sizzling work on the timbales, bongo, and much more. A transplant from Puerto Rico, his tight grooves and dramatic breaks are the perfect complement to Adames. Oberlin-trained Milwaukee native pianist Elias Holman gives the group its melodic voice, exploring the vast space of jazz and latin music both live and in his compositions. With a mixture of dense harmonies and elegant lines, he adds a unique and compelling sound above the rhythmic base. Milwaukee’s Conway Powell rounds out the quartet with tight work on the upright and electric bass. A veteran performer who has toured throughout the United States, Powell lays down everything from simple tumbao to dirtiest funk with sparkling energy.


Carlos Adames is a widely acclaimed percussionist known for his explosive soloing and inventive conga patterns, and a composer, arranger and educator who has worked professionally all over the Western Hemisphere and Europe.


Mr. Adames was born into a musical family that inspired him and helped shape him as a musician, and he began playing the drums at the age of six. His South American and Caribbean roots combined with his understanding of contemporary and classical music make him a complete and skilled master musician. Mr. Adames studied Percussion at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes of Mexico, as well as with world known percussionists such as Alex Acuña, Endel Dueño, Jesús Alfonso Miró, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Lamim Thiam, and many others.


Mr. Adames is committed to the development of conga playing, breaking down traditional percussion barriers to perform Latin rhythms, jazz, funk and hip-hop while retaining his distinctly Latin roots. His musical journey is a personal quest to explore and create new sounds and rhythmic fusions, and his playing is characterized by innovation, energy and pure heart.


In January 2017, The Carlos Adames Group receives the award for Best Jazz musician 2016 by "The Best of Milwaukee, Shepard Express".

In June 2017, The Carlos Adames Group receives the award for Best Local Band by The M Milwaukee's Lifestyle Magazine

In January 2016, Carlos Adames receives the award for Best Jazz musician 2015 by "The Best of Milwaukee, Shepard Express".


Carlos Adames recieved a nomination for Best Jazz musician 2015 by "The Best of Milwaukee, Shepard Express".


Carlos Adames recieved a nomination for Best Jazz musician 2013 by "The Best of Milwaukee, Shepard Express".


Carlos Adames's Project was proudly nominated by WAMI ( WISCONSIN AREA MUSIC INDUSTRY ) under the category of: World/ Reggae/Ska/Latin Artist of the Year 2014.

Carlos Adames Currently Endorses Toca Percussion, Saluda Cymbals, Odery Drums, RegalTip & A Tempo Percussion.

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