1972 – present (45 years)
San Francisco, California, United States
Azteca was an American Latin rock/jazz fusion group formed in 1972, started by Coke Escovedo and his brother Pete Escovedo, who had just finished stints with Latin rock pioneering band Santana. Azteca was the first large-scale attempt to combine multiple musical elements in the context of a Latin orchestra setting, and featured horns, woodwinds, multiple keyboards, three vocalists, guitars, drums, and multiple Latin percussionists.
Onstage, the band consisted of between 15-25 members, and toured with acts including Stevie Wonder. Other notable Azteca alumni included drummers Lenny White & John H. Brinck Jr., bassist Paul Jackson, vocalist Wendy Haas, trumpeter Tom Harrell, guitarist Neal Schon, vocalist Errol Knowles and percussionist Victor Pantoja. The group was also a musical starting point for Latin percussionist Sheila E. (the daughter of Pete Escovedo), who appeared with the band as a teenager. Two albums were released on Columbia Records, the self titled Azteca (1972) and Pyramid of the Moon (1973), before the band split up.
On September 15, 2007, a number of the surviving members of Azteca performed together for the first time in more than thirty years in Hollywood, California. The concert was recorded for an eventual DVD release.
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