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Latin jazz musician takes his act south

Daily Planet wire services
Thursday March 22, 2001

After bringing his salsa sounds to the Bay Area for five decades, a Latin jazz institution is headed south. 

Pete Escovedo, jazz pioneer and Bay Area native, is moving to Southern California to be with his daughter, singer Sheila E., and to take up his career in a more music-friendly climate, said Henry Royal, general manager of the Oakland salsa club Kimball's Carnival. 

“Due to the fact that the club scene up here didn't work out for him, he decided to pack his bags and try something new,” Royal said. 

Escovedo will be given a proper sendoff at the end of the month, with Kimball's Carnival hosting the “Farewell to the Bay Area” party.  

Musical guests such as Sheila E., John Santos, Ray Obedio and producer Narada Michael Walden are expected to attend. 

Now in his early 60s, Escovedo has had a long and highly successful career in the jazz scene, playing with the likes of Count Basie, Tito Puente, Carlos Santana, Woody Herman, Anita Baker and others. 

Born in Pittsburg and raised in Oakland, Escovedo recently settled in Alameda, starting his own jazz club, Mr. E's Spotlight on the Square. That club is now closed, Royal said. 

“It’s going to be a great loss to us, because we're not going to have the advantage of seeing Pete,” Royal said. 

The farewell party will be held Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31, at Kimball's Carnival, 522 Second St., Jack London Square, Oakland. Tickets are $25.