Spotlight Series: Pete Escovedo Orchestra feat. Sheila E.

Last year, legendary percussionist, Pete Escovedo delighted audiences at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena when he brought one of his sons onto the stage as a surprise guest.

This Sunday, he’s opening the season with another one of his famous children: GRAMMY-nominated percussionist and pop singer-songwriter, Sheila E.

For decades now, both have blazed musical trails—Escovedo as a member of Santana and bandleader of influential Latin jazz band Azteca, as well as his own Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Sheila as both a solo act and touring musician with artists like Prince, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, and Diana Ross. Together, they have been making music for almost the entirety of Sheila’s life; she began playing her father’s instruments at the age of three and made her onstage debut two years later, when he invited her to play a solo at one of his shows.

Before this Sunday’s show at Levitt Pasadena, listen to some of the Escovedos’ most memorable songs, from Sheila’s debut single written by Prince to Pete’s groundbreaking work during his long career in Latin jazz.

“The Glamorous Life” | Sheila E.

It was Prince who suggested that Sheila shorten her stage name from Escovedo to E. and also he who wrote the title track for her 1984 debut solo album, The Glamorous Life. This song vaulted her to pop stardom and won her GRAMMY nominations for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Live versions incorporate an elaborate drum solo that demonstrates her celebrated percussion skills.

“The E Medley: Azteca Mozambique / Ah Ah / Cueros – Live” | Pete Escovedo

This energy-filled musical medley off Escovedo’s 2003 album, Pete Escovedo Live! was recorded at a gig in San Diego, when he was joined on stage by three of his four children: percussionists Sheila E., Peter Michael and Juan. This recording gives listeners an inside peek at conversations in the Escovedo family—complete with playful rhythmic banter and explosive passion-filled percussion solos—and celebrates the masterful rhythmic versatility of Escovedo and his family.

“El Rey Del Timbal” | Pete Escovedo, Sheila E. and Tito Puente

In 1989, the father-daughter duo released an album with mambo and Latin jazz composer, Tito Puente (1923–2000), entitled Pete Escovedo, Sheila E., Tito Puente: Latina Familia. Included was a three-person arrangement of Puente’s famous “El Rey del Timbal” with fiery solos for all.

Come out and see Pete Escovedo and Sheila E. live this Sunday, June 14, at Levitt Pasadena’s opening night! Also check out the free shows happening in Arlington, Anchorage, Bethlehem, Denison, Los Angeles and Memphis.

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