He has reigned as a pioneer in the field of Latin Jazz for over 50 years, but this month, fans of legendary jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo will gather at the historic Howden Building in Oakland’s Uptown District to experience one of Pete’s lesser known passions as a painter.
” I was always interested [ in painting], but performing as a musician is what I did for a living most of my life as a performer in the music industry.”
Throughout his musical tenure, Pete has collaborated with artists such as Santana, Prince, Chick Corea, Arturo Sandoval and Bobby McFerrin.
He began painting at the age of 15, while growing up in Oakland.
” When I was in school, I was fortunate to have this art teacher who really took a liking to me,” Pete recalled during a phone interview earlier this week. “She would give me pointers, but never told me what to do because she said she loved the rawness of the way I paint.”
His art teacher helped him secure a scholarship at the College of Arts and Crafts ( known today as California College of the Arts) and an apprenticeship for a local advertising firm, with the condition he graduate from high school.
“All I had was another term and I would have graduated, but I dropped out of high school to go and play music. I knew what I wanted to do, and nothing was coming to me in school that I needed after a while.”
In 2009, Pete’s music brought him to the White House where he performed for President Obama, alongside his daughter, fellow famed percussionist, Shiela E.
In the midst of travelling for musical performances, however, Pete always returned to painting when he had the chance.
” [Music] kind of took me away from my artwork [as a painter], but every time I’m home, I’m constantly painting.”
He also noted the parallels between both of his artistic mediums. “They [music and painting] really go hand in hand, both being an expression of myself. There are things I have seen and experienced emotionally, and sometimes, there’s stories behind my paintings and music.”
Come and experience the life and art of Mr. Pete Escovedo, and meet the artist yourself as he showcases his life throughout the years with his exhibit “Life on Canvas.” This event is open to the public.
Friday, July 17, 2015, 6pm-9pm and
Sunday, July 19, 2015, 2pm-6pm
337 17th st. Suite #10
Oakland, CA 94612