First time a father and daughter will receive an award together – the Lifetime Achievement Award for the legendary Latin jazz artist and The Queen of Percussion
By Allen Payton
Latin jazz legend native of Pittsburg, Pete Escovedo and his daughter, known as the Queen of Percussion, Sheila E. of Lafayette, will be honored with a 2021 Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award tonight, Nov. 17, 2021, as part of the 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY week. The honorees will be celebrated during a private ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas.
In a post on his Facebook page on Sunday, Nov. 14, Escovedo wrote, “This will be a night that will be precious to our family. My daughter and I #SheilaE will be receiving ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the #LatinGrammy2021. First time in history that a father and daughter received an award together at the same time. I am grateful and humbled to be acknowledged for all of my work over the years and a special thank you to all of the musicians that I was able to perform with. Many blessings – Pete.”
According to the Latin Grammy website, “The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to Latin music and its communities.”
The distinction is voted on by The Latin Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees.
To watch father and daughter Pete Escovedo and Sheila E. playing together is an unforgettable experience: two brilliant percussionists breathing in unison to the syncopated beat. Sheila E. was a little girl when she taught herself to play the drums and timbales by watching her father rehearse with his Latin jazz combo. The rest is history.
Born in Pittsburg, California in 1935, Pete Michael Escovedo fell in love with Afro-Caribbean music as a young man and decided to follow his passion, founding a jazz sextet with family members that evolved into the iconic Chicano rock band Azteca in 1972. Five years later, Escovedo launched a solo career, unifying elements of jazz, salsa and Latin soul under the elegant groove of his timbales. At 85 Pete continues touring, recording and creating critically acclaimed paintings in his home studio.
Born into a musical family in Oakland in 1957, Sheila Cecilia Escovedo made a name for herself in the late ’70s as the fiery percussionist with The George Duke Band. Global success followed when Prince asked her to join the Purple Rain sessions. Performing as part of Prince’s touring band, Sheila cooked up an exquisite hybrid of pop, funk and Latin that would anchor mega-hits “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre”.
Even though she continued performing with Prince onstage until his death, Sheila developed a sound of her own, inspired by her love of jazz, R&B and the Latin music tradition she learned from her father.
Ver a Pete Escovedo tocar junto a su hija Sheila E. es una experiencia inolvidable: dos percusionistas que respiran al unísono, conectados por el espíritu del ritmo. Pete Michael Escovedo se enamoró de la música afrocaribeña durante su juventud y, motivado por esa pasión, fundó un sexteto de jazz con integrantes de su familia que se transformó en 1972 en Azteca, la legendaria banda de rock chicano. Cinco años más tarde, Escovedo se lanzó como solista, unificando elementos de jazz, salsa y Latin soul bajo la elegante cadencia de sus timbales. Nacida en una familia de música Sheila Cecilia Escovedo se dio a conocer a fines de los años 70 como la apasionada percusionista de The George Duke Band. La fama internacional vino de la mano de Prince, que la invitó a participar en las sesiones del disco Purple Rain. Como integrante del grupo que acompañaba a Prince en vivo, Sheila desarrolló un exquisito híbrido de pop, funk y música latina que apoyó los extraordinarios éxitos “The Glamorous Life” y “A Love Bizarre”.
“We are delighted to recognize this remarkable group of legendary artists, who remain very active, with this year’s Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Awards,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “Their outstanding accomplishments have created a timeless legacy within the Latin music world and beyond, and we look forward to honoring and celebrating each of them during Latin GRAMMY Week as we return to Las Vegas this November with our resilient community of Latin music lovers.”
Post Video Announcing Award and Thanking Latin Recording Academy
“Pops, oh. Congratulations,” she said.
“Congratulations to you and to me,” Pete responded. “What an achievement. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Grammys.”
“We don’t even know what to say,” Sheila continued.
“I don’t know what to say,” Pete said.
“I’m receiving it and my father’s receiving it,” she stated. “. We’ve made history. They said they’ve never honored two people with the same name let alone a father and daughter.”
“So, it’s a first. Yeah,” Pete said.
“We are so honored. Thank you so much,” she said.
“That is so, so remarkable,” he said. “Yay.”
“Thank you, so much, Recording Academy, the Latin Recording Academy,” Sheila said.
“Yes, definitely,” Pete added.
“We are so humbled. Thank you,” she added.
They then congratulated each other again, and Sheila kissed her dad.
Wednesday from Las Vegas for the Award Presentation
On her Facebook page, on Wednesday, Sheila posted photos and wrote, “Love you, Pops. I am beyond grateful and humbled to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award from #latingrammy2021 Latin GRAMMYs alongside my hero, Pete Escovedo. This is an incredible honor, thank u, family.
Honored and so grateful to be here to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award today alongside my hero Pete Escovedo Latin GRAMMYs. Thank U, family.
This has been a beautiful and incredibly humbling day. Thank u, family. @momsandpopse @pete_escovedo Go to @947thewave’s bio to listen to my convo with @prescott947 #947thewave @sheilaedrummer and her father the legendary @pete_escovedo will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards. First time in history father & daughter! Sheila spoke to #prescott947 about what this means to her to share this particular honor with her Dad. #linkinbio “This has been a once in a lifetime day. Thank you, @latingrammys, we are honored and truly humbled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Love you, @momsandpopse @pete_escovedo, thank you for sharing this day with us, family,” she also wrote.
Also posted on her page was, “Feeling incredibly blessed. Pete Escovedo Latin GRAMMYs from my sis Zina Escovedo We are at the LATIN GRAMMYS!!! #PeteEscovedo and my seeeeester #SheilaE will be accepting a #LifetimeAchievementAward !! First time in history Father and Daughter!
More About Pete Escovedo
According to Escovedo’s website “Percussionist Pete Escovedo is an artist who broke down the barriers between Smooth Jazz, Salsa, Latin Jazz and contemporary music. His name has been synonymous in the music industry for more than 50 years. Pete is known worldwide for his live performances, session work and solo albums.
As a young boy he would sit on the steps of nightclubs and watch musicians play. Music became his outlet. When he was 15 years old, he began to also sketch and paint on wood or cardboard. Anything he could get his hands on he would start to draw.
Pete did not know that his love for music and art combined would change his life forever.
Over the years he has created an amazing body of artwork, created using mixed mediums, including oils, acrylics, latex, enamels, pencil and crayons.
A master of color, texture, and shape, Escovedo’s work explores the vibrancy of life with a thoughtful attention to detail.”
He and his wife Juanita have been married for 65 years and have three other children, Juan, Peter Michael and Zina. Read more about the Escovedo family, here.
More About Sheila E.
According to her Wikipedia page, Sheila E. is a percussionist, singer, author, and actress. She began her career in the mid-1970s as a percussionist and singer for The George Duke Band. After leaving the group in 1983, Sheila began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song, “The Glamorous Life“. She became a mainstream solo star in 1985 following the success of the singles “The Belle of St. Mark“, “Sister Fate“, and “A Love Bizarre” with the last becoming one of her signature songs. She is commonly referred to as The Queen of Percussion.
According to her website, “Guided by the forces of family, faith, and music, Sheila E. has made a name for herself as one of the most talented musical icons over the decades. With a fearless nature and a passion for sharing her gifts with others, Sheila truly follows the beat of her own drum. She touches the lives of so many, with her dynamic music career at the heart of everything. Sheila’s eagerness to share her music, openness as an author, and fire for her ministry make her such a relatable, inspirational figure for people of all ages.
Born into a musical family, Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E.) has been driven by an inner rhythm her entire life. As a young girl, she was immersed in the diverse music scenes of the Bay Area—influenced and inspired by her percussionist father Pete Escovedo; musical uncles Coke Escovedo, Alejandro Escovedo, Mario Escovedo, and Javier Escovedo; and godfather Tito Puente. Growing up in the Escovedo household, musical instruments were for everyone. “Nobody cared as long as you could keep time (or have a good time),” she writes in her memoir, The Beat Of My Own Drum.
Before Sheila had language, she had rhythm. When she was 3 years old, she developed a love for playing various musical instruments, feeling the most connected to the drums and other percussion instruments. Born into an environment filled with music, with music running through her veins, Sheila found an inner beat that fueled her every move. As a young child, she’d copy the hand movements of her father as he played the drums—planting the seed for what would quickly become her life’s passion.
At the age of 5, Sheila gave her first public performance for an audience of 3,000, appearing alongside her dad. It was while on that stage playing a drum solo that Sheila first realized she was going to be a percussionist. Five decades later, and the beat that has always driven her is showing no signs of slowing down. The famous drummer, singer, songwriter, author, humanitarian, and icon is following the beat of her own drum. She considers music to be the purest form of self-expression and the one true love of her life.”
Pete Writes About His Daughter
On December 22, 2020, Pete wrote about his daughter on his Facebook page, “On December 12th, 1957. Our first child was born, Sheila Escovedo. Our lives changed forever.
Sheila loved Jiffy commercials (if you’re reading this and you think its Jiffy Lube commercials – NO – It was for Peanut Butter) She would get so excited about hearing the commercial, that she would crawl back to the drums and hit them as hard as she could.
I kept all of the instruments in the front room (we didn’t have a big house and extra rooms to play in) So that’s where all of the congas, percussion and timbales lived. When Sheila watched me practice, she would mirror me because she was on the other side of the drums, so she learned how to play backwards. She would sit on the floor and stare at the drums as if she was mesmerized by the sounds that were coming out…
Little did she know, this was the beginning of her own future.
Sheila was very different as a little girl growing up, she wasn’t interested in barbie dolls, cute clothes, sewing or even tea parties with stuffed animals. She was in love with the sound of music, she lived by it, she breathed it and It became her world.
Through the years my little girl didn’t know at that time that only men played drums. The older she got she witnessed men not taking her seriously because they had never seen a girl play. I am sure they made many comments behind her back with whispers filling the room. But when she stepped on the stage, she owned it! No one could tell her anything, and by the end of the song, she would receive standing ovations.
I am a very proud father who didn’t see this coming. But God did. As parents you can’t ask for anything more. Healthy children, great wife and a blessed career.
I love having my children on my albums. Here is just a few…
‘Rhythm of the Night’ Released Sept. 2021
‘Back to the Bay’ Released 2018
Both albums produced by son #PeterMichaelEscovedo.”
The 2021 Latin Grammys presentation will air at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 on Univision.