Pete Escovedo was born on July 13, 1935 in Pittsburg, California. He is a Latin jazz percussionist and a painter who has been making music and painting since he was 15 years old. Pete has spent his life performing music and showing his art and continues to do so to this day.

Mr. Escovedo was born and raised in the SF Bay Area with ties to Pittsburg, Vallejo, and Oakland. Pete also raised his own family in the Bay and continues to reside in California. Pete and his wife, Juanita were married at St. Andrew’s Church in Oakland and celebrated together at the California Hotel. Together they had four children: Sheila, Juan, Peter Michael, and Zina. Pete Escovedo is a legendary native whose vibrant artistry has continued to thrive. Pete has been growing as an artist, he’s performed around the world with his family, and they always make their way back to their Bay Area roots.   

Escovedo attended high school in Oakland, California where he played saxophone and vibes and eventually found his path to becoming a percussionist. He was surrounded by music as a child, and his father sang with Latin big bands and inspired Pete to follow in his footsteps. He learned of an opportunity to play with the pianist Ed Kelly as a percussionist and went on to work with him, becoming one of the most demanded percussionists in the SF Bay Area.          

Escovedo has been an artist his entire life: he was born into a family full of great talent in the arts. Since he was young, he’s been painting, drawing, and playing music. Taking after his father, Pete was a natural saxophonist, but he really found his calling when he started beating drums. He and his brother Coke Escovedo established themselves as percussionists so well that by the mid-1960s they were playing all around Northern California. Eventually the brothers started the legendary band Azteca that went on to share its music all around the country.

Pete likes to spend his time in Oakland performing at different venues. He has a lot of history in Oakland and was known to hang out all around the Bay. He did a show at the Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco in 2012. Hundreds of people went to the event including his family and friends.


  • Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA 94607. Pete and his band have played many shows in the Bay. The famous jazz venue Yoshi’s in Oakland is dear to him, and he even celebrated a birthday here. He had performed a legendary show here and occasionally does shows here. As one of the only jazz bars in Oakland, this venue is a special place for jazz artists. 
  • Sanchez Contemporary Art Gallery, 1951 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612. Throughout his music career, Escovedo has been making art and has recently shared his pieces with the public. Pete likes to make art at his home and has shown his art at the Sanchez Contemporary Art Gallery in Oakland. Escovedo shared his artwork with his fans and met with other local artists. This art show was the start of his career as a contemporary artist.

~ by Mariah Brown ~      

External Links:

Pete Escovedo website: Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.

Yanow, Scott. “Artist Biography by Scott Yanow.” AllMusic, Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.

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