Coke Escovedo

Jazz fusion, Musical Artist

1941 – 1986


Who was Coke Escovedo?

Coke Escovedo was an American percussionist. Coke grew up in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area and developed an early interest in jazz and Latin music through exposure gained from his father, an aspiring big band singer, and eventually gravitated to drums and Latin percussion. Coke's older brother, fellow percussionist Pete Escovedo, recruited Coke for a local Latin jazz combo led by pianist Carlos Federico. The Federico combo evolved into the Escovedo Brothers Band, which also counted Pete, bassist brother Phil Escovedo, saxophonist-flautist Mel Martin and trombonist Al Bent among its regular members. Coke began to gain some notoriety in the San Francisco Bay Area Latin jazz scene and worked with jazz vibraphonist Cal Tjader. Coke rose to even greater prominence in early 1971 when he first became a member of Santana, initially as a replacement for timbale player Jose "Chepito" Areas, who had been sidelined with medical issues. Escovedo was featured on Santana's Santana III album. Coke co-authored a hit song from that album, "No One To Depend On", which peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Years later, the song would be covered by Vitamin C as part of her 1999 hit "Me, Myself And I". While in the Santana band, Coke performed at many high-profile concerts, including the historic closing of the Fillmore West. Santana drummer Michael Shrieve has credited Coke for showing him how to incorporate some Latin percussion figures into his drum set playing during their time together. During Carlos Santana's transition period between the original and "New" Santana bands, Coke also performed with the Carlos Santana/Buddy Miles group, appearing on the 1972 release Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!

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Apr 30, 1941
Los Angeles
Also known as
  • Escovedo, Coke
  • United States of America
Jul 13, 1986

on July 23, 2013


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