Escovedo, Pete

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Escovedo, Pete

Escovedo, Pete, American percussionist; b. Pittsburg, Calif., July 13, 1935. Percussionist Pete Escovedo has been an active force in Latin jazz since the 1960s as both a session player and a solo recording artist; his credits include work with Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Mongo Santamaria, Angela Bofill, Barry White, Cal Tjader, Tito Puente, Woody Herman, Billy Cobham, Anita Baker, Stephen Stills, Bobby McFerrin, Chris Isaak, Boz Scaggs, and George Duke. He has released a number of fine contemporary jazz-pop albums as a leader on the Concord label; although the “jazz-pop” categorization might be somewhat deceiving. His trade-mark sound combines equal parts jazz, salsa, funk, Brazilian, pop, and rock influences with traditional Afro-Cuban sounds and odd meters to create a very listenable, cohesive whole. He has also made musical history as co-leader (with brother Coke) of the ground-breaking Latin/fusion big-band Azteca. The Escovedo musical dynasty in the San Francisco Bay area is similar to that which the Marsalis family has achieved in New Orleans. Pete is not only the brother of Coke (deceased) and Phil Escovedo—both performing musicians and former members of the Escovedo Brothers Band—but also the father of Sheila “E” Escovedo—L.A. studio percussionist and former pop-singing Prince-protege—and musician/producer/arranger and studio engineer Peter Michael Escovedo. Pete Escovedo continues to perform and record as a leader, with various members of his family, and in support of some of the world’s most famous jazz and pop acts.


Yesterday’s MemoriesTomorrow’s Dreams (1987); Mister E (1988); Azteca (1972); Pyramid of the Moon (1973); Flying South (1996); E Street (1997).

—Gregg Juke