In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month—taking place Sept. 15 – Oct. 15—we’re devoting today’s blog post to five (of the many!) trailblazing Latinx musicians who’ve shaped the landscape of modern American music. This annual observance was created in 1988 to honor the contributions, culture and histories of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. Today, Latin American rhythms, lyrics and instrumentation are staples in the popular American music repertoire. In fact, Latin music’s popularity increased so much in 2018 that it surpassed Country music in album consumption. And music industry professionals suggest that this trend is likely to continue. Today, we’re highlighting five legendary musicians who found success in the face of adversity and paved the way for this musical phenomenon.
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. Continue reading