News Column

Ceremony on Sunday for first inductees into Pittsburg Entertainment and Arts Hall of Fame

October 2, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 02--PITTSBURG -- Oh, the stories they could tell. Eighteen artists, musicians and other creative types will be inducted into the Pittsburg Entertainment and Arts Hall of Fame during an inaugural ceremony this Sunday.

Some are no longer with us, such as Emilio Civita, who led the Pittsburg Municipal Band from 1916 until his death in 1966, and Joe Castro, a bebop jazz pianist who helped create the Clover Records jazz label, while others such as Pete Escovedo and Chooch Lombardo are alive and well.

"I was overjoyed and at my age," said the 82-year-old Lombardo, who learned he was among the inductees a couple months ago. "And I'm one of the first people to get in there. I've been doing this, playing with bands and playing in my own band my whole life."

Lombardo, a 1948 graduate of Pittsburg High, still plays trumpet and goes out on gigs, including ones at La Veranda restaurant in Pittsburg's Old Town with his latest band "Four Hits and a Miss," a jazz combo.

Of the 18 inductees, eight are graduates of Pittsburg High School and three others taught in Pittsburg schools.

"We are pleased to honor this group of individuals," said Merl Craft, president of the Pittsburg Entertainment and Arts Hall of Fame. "It is an amazingly talented group, but what makes it even more special is the number of lives they have affected as teachers and mentors in the arts."

All have ties to Pittsburg one way or another. Some were born here, while others have lived or performed here. All have made the city a better place through their contributions to local youth and culture through the arts, music or theater.

Nominations were made by a blue-ribbon panel of local musicians, artists and performers familiar with the city's arts and entertainment history. The finalists were selected by members of the Pittsburg Entertainment and Arts Hall of Fame.

Musical, dance and theater entertainment will be provided during the program, which will also include welcoming remarks from Mayor Nancy Parent, Supervisor Federal Glover and Linda Rondeau, superintendent of the Pittsburg Unified School District.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.

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