Pete Escovedo

Born July 13, 1935 in Oakland (California). Genre: Jazz; Styles: Fusion/Jazz Rock, Salsa, Latin, Rock, Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz. Since the late 1960’s Pete Escovedo is a prominent force in Latin music. His versatility has led to success in many areas of music from Latin jazz and salsa, rock, and Latin pop. Escovedo grew up in Oakland and was always surrounded by music his entire childhood. His father was a singer in some Latin big bands. In high school, Pete was a saxophonist and then switched to vibraphone. Escovedo discovered his calling when he was asked by pianist Ed Kelly to be a percussionist. His younger brother, Coke Escovedo (the late), also developed quickly as percussionists, and were highly sought after for gigs in Northern California. The Escovedo Bros Latin Jazz Sextet was founded by Phil Escovedo, their younger brother. Carlos Santana hired Pete and Coke to form his Latin rock band in 1967. After three years of touring with Santana (he has been back a few times since), Pete formed the 14-member Latin big band Azteca and recorded two albums for Columbia. Although the music was great, the band became too costly to keep together as it grew to 24 members. Pete has been performing in many different settings since then, including with Woody Herman and Cal Tjader. In the middle of the 1970’s, he began using Sheila E. as his daughter. They recorded their first album together with Billy Cobham in 1976. Escovedo has been a leader of his own Latin jazz band since Azteca. Sometimes, he also includes his children Juan, Peter Michael, and Zina. Pete Escovedo has been a leader in Fantasy (co-leading dates alongside Sheila E.) as well as Concord (including their Crossover and Picante subsidiaries). All Music Guide User-contributed text by Scott Yanow is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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