Pete Escovedo and Sheila E Live In Tokyo
Tonight I had the chance to see a living legend of Latin Jazz, Pete Escovedo and his daughter, pop/funk star Sheila E, live at the Blue Note Tokyo, together with a six piece backing band in an entertaining, high energy set. Escovedo is an acclaimed percussionist, known for his work with Santana and Tito Puente […]
Tonight I had the chance to see a living legend of Latin Jazz, Pete Escovedo and his daughter, pop/funk star Sheila E, live at the Blue Note Tokyo, together with a six piece backing band in an entertaining, high energy set.
Escovedo is an acclaimed percussionist, known for his work with Santana and Tito Puente and also as a big band leader in his own right. Despite being on the cusp of turning 79, he was sprightly on stage and his chops, cuts and fills on percussion, especially timbales, were everything one would expect from a player of his stature.
And, Escovedo senior was clearly delighted to be sharing the limelight with his daughter Sheila E, who played almost all of the set behind the drums and was a commanding presence on stage throughout the show. Most know her from a long and successful collaboration with Prince during the Purple Rain, Sign “O” the Times, and Lovesexy period, when Sheila E was a percussionist and drummer in Prince’s band, and later the tour music director whilst also launching her own chart-topping pop career.
While Shelia E has continued to collaborate from time to time with Prince, she also played with other pop and jazz stars (like Gloria Estefan, Beyoncé Knowles, George Duke, Abe Laboriel) and performed and recorded regularly with her father and other members of her musical family. There’s a real joy to watching the interplay between her and her father as they trade licks, swap parts in the groove and then come together on fills and hooks with almost supernatural precision.
Father and daughter were joined on stage by Michael Alvarado on guitar (taking some great searing solos), horn players Arturo Velasco on trombone, Louis Fasman on trumpet, Melecio Magdaluyo on ssax and flute, Joe Rotondi on keyboards and Marc Van Wageningen on bass; all ably and tightly supporting and soloing through a range of tunes, covering the funky end of latin jazz and even a little brat pock era vocal jazz as well.
A personal favourite moment was when Sheila E took a walk through the crowd to hand out a few CDs. Spotting my daughter waving her arms around madly Sheila E made her way across the room and handed her a CD. The moment seemed to round out the evening watching a father-daughter combination play through the kind of music I had grown up listening to and hoped to pass onto my own daughter.