Conservatory Faculty


Luis Tovar

Venezuelan born Luis ‘El Pana’ Tovar has developed a reputation for his outstanding percussion skills. Since his arrival in Alberta Canada 11 years ago, he has been making his mark in the Western Canadian music scene. He has been mastering his craft on world percussion instruments since he was only 8 years old leading into his current professional career of 20 years. Soon after arriving in Canada, he became one of the founder members of the World Fusion Band, Cumako, with whom he recorded and toured after releasing their album ‘No Borders.’ After years of taking in inspiration from all sources, he embraced his own project ‘Everything I Like / Todo Lo Que Me Gusta,’ Luis’ first album. It was released in 2014 after 3 years of composing and producing with national and international musicians. He has been endorsed by Tycoon Percussion and Soultone Cymbals since 2014.

Outside of his personal projects, he has been collaborating with multiple artists during his time in Canada; both from the area and international touring acts. Among these artists are: Willy Colon, David Pavon, Tito Nieves, Jerry Rivera, Maelo Ruiz, Oscar de Leon, Pavlo and Rik Emmett, Luis Bonilla, Brian Hughes and Michael Mossman to name a few. In addition, he has been a part of The Oscar Lopez Trio since 2007 and has performed and recorded with this group on multiple occasions throughout the years. He has also supported the local Alberta scene from day one having recorded and performed with artists from all genres.

‘El Pana’ is currently working on a new recording project: ‘The Arepa Project’ where he is combining art of all kinds into an audio-visual experience. He has been releasing parts of this collaboration project on his YouTube channel for the past 6 months. Also, he is the leader and creative mind behind the number one salsa band in the area: ‘Distrito Salsa.’ Regardless of the musical genre and whomever he plays with, Luis Tovar brings a unique blend of energy and positive dynamic to the stage or recording studio using his Venezuelan / Afro-Caribbean roots to immediately contribute to any project.