Chano Acevedo. Musician, Public Administrator
Chano Acevedo performed as a musician in civilian life as well as in
the armed forces. Acevedo served during World War II.with the 357th Infantry,
90th Division, Third Army commanded by General Patton. The Division landed in
Normandy and went into combat four days after D-Day. Acevedo received the Combat
Infantryman Badge, five campaign stars, and a medal from the City of Metz, France.
When Mr. Chano Acevedo returned from the service, he worked for twelve years
as an accountant and City Manager for the City of Avondale. Later he worked
with Maricopa County as Assistant Budget Director. During his tenure in public
employment he initiated viable public projects in Avondale. However, he became
better known as a musician.
In the 1930's Acevedo played at the Maravilla Gardens Pavilion located at 13th Avenue and Grant with a music group
he formed. His music playing experience included: Pete Chavez and Los Rumberos,
who had a radio broadcast at station KPHO, located on west Buckeye Road; Manuel
Esquer and the Caballeros Alegres, who had an early morning radio program at
station KOY; and at Avalon night club, located between Washington and Jefferson
on Central Avenue.
After the war, Chano Acevedo arranged orchestrations for a dance band that he formed. His band played at many nightclubs and dance halls: The Orange Grove, Riverside, Willow Breeze, and Plantation. He played at several clubs: Pirata's, De Anza, and the 333 Club, among others. Acevedo toured northern Arizona and New Mexico performing one-night engagements. When Leonard Calderon built the Calderon dance hall, he asked Acevedo to play there Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The original musicians in the group were: Chapito Chavarria, George Ybarra, Freddie Bustillos, Mike Velasquez, Chalio Dominguez, Nat Wilson, Luis Estrada and Chano Acevedo. Calderon contracted Ruben Reyes, vocalist and recording star from California, and Acevedo's band backed up his songs.
When Acevedo gave up the band, he played with other groups for a time; then he formed another dance band. His band played for: weddings, parties, conventions (including the Bushmasters), Ricardo Montalban's fund raiser dinner dance, Governor Bruce Babbitt's Testimonial Dinner and Reception at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, and every week for Carlos Montaño's television on station KTVK "La Tardeada" program. His band also played for Don's Trek to the Superstition Mountains. During many years, the band played for hundreds of benefit fundraisers and church fiestas for free. Members of this last band were Hank Arroyo, Ernie Perez, Mike Velasquez, Bruce Spangler, Benny Perez, Bob Juarez, Phil Juarez, and of course, Chano Acevedo.