Emmy-nominated artist/producer visits City Sound camp

by Jim Claytor, DCW staff

Peter Michael Escovedo spoke at a City Sound camp recently under a flurry of excitement. He has produced numerous television shows, written music for films, theme songs for television, composed, arranged and produced music for various artists and is currently releasing a new E. Family CD featuring Joss Stone, Prince, Earth Wind & Fire, Gloria Estefan, Raphael Saadiq and Israel Houghton.

His credits also include working with Justin Timberlake, Whitney Huston, Mariah Carey, Elton John and the hottest female drummer of all time, his sister, Sheila E.

City Sound in 2011 is really pushing the boundaries for this   one-year-old drum corps in Los Angeles. While starting out last year with less than 20 horns, this year Director Nate Lewis is proud to be pushing 40 to 50 members in the horn line per rehearsal and literally more than doubling 2010.

With the new horn instructor, Professor Greg Flores, at the helm, this year’s music will be hot, in your face and, as most of the kids in the corps would say, “Dude, it’s so LA!”

While interviewing Lewis at their last camp, he gave me some really interesting history on the short existence of the corps. City Sound is actually an extension of the once-famous Bedford-Stuyvesant Carter Cadets from Brooklyn, NY. Started in 1950 by the late Pastor Fitz and Miriam Carter, Nathaniel Lewis Sr. from Brooklyn and Nathaniel Lewis III, current director of City Sound, are to this day active members on the board of the Carter Cadets Alumni.

With royal blue uniform tops, a white sash and shakos with white plumes, you can see how last month’s article in DCW, titled “Traditional yet cool,” shows how uniforms reminiscent of the 1960s Carter Cadets still have a “traditional yet cool” influence in today’s City Sound.

Tradition is still extended in City Sound’s t-shirt that simply says, “Doing drum corps the way God intended it to be.”

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Drum Corps World is published as an on-line electronic magazine by Sights & Sounds, Inc., Madison, WI. It is supported by advertising from manufacturers, service providers, corps, circuits and show sponsors. The publication began in October 1971 at the same time Drum Corps International was formed and has been produced continuously as a tabloid newspaper until April 2011 and on the Internet since May 2011. It is released monthly, as well as six additional e-mail blasts, one in late June, three during July and two in August.

The worldwide staff of writers and photographers provide show reviews during the season and interviews, feature articles, news and human interest stories during the off-season. The photographs that appear in the magazine are provided by 27 staff members who are scattered around the world. The publication covers World and Open Class Drum Corps International corps, Open and Class A Drum Corps Associates corps, alumni, mini-, parade and standstill units, as well as the growing activity in Europe, the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Philippines and South Africa.