Born April 30, 1941, in Los Angeles to a musical family that includes Pete Escovedo, Alejandro Escovedo, and Sheila Escovedo, percussionist Coke Escovedo first rose to prominence in 1969 as a member of Santana.
His playing can be heard on the third Santana album, which included the hit "Everybody's Everything" and "No One to Depend On," which he co-wrote. Escovedo and his brother, Pete Escovedo, left Santana to form their own Latin rock hybrid, Azteca, who recorded two albums, a self-titled debut in 1972 and Pyramid of the Moon in 1973, both for Columbia. Always in demand, Coke toured with Stevie Wonder before releasing his first solo effort in 1975, simply titled Coke. Featuring a sophisticated fusion of jazz, soul, and Latin elements, the album did well enough to lead to a second date as leader in 1976, the more pop-oriented Comin' at Ya. A final release as a leader in 1977, Disco Fantasy, proved critically and commercially disappointing and signaled the last time Escovedo would helm his own project. This, nevertheless, did not signal the end of his career; as busy as ever, Coke toured with Santana again and joined Herbie Hancock for his 1979 release Feets Don't Fail Me Now and became a member of his touring band. The '80s saw him record and tour with his niece and Prince collaborator Sheila Escovedo. Coke Escovedo died at the age of 45 on July 13, 1986. ~ Wade Kergan, Rovi