Sheila E, born Sheila Escovedo (1957) comes from a family of musical legends. Her father, Pete Escovedo, and his brother, Coke, performed percussion in Carlos Santana’s band. Her uncles, Alex and Javier Escovedo, were punk pioneers in the California scene, respectively. Then there is her godfather, Tito Puente, is arguably the greatest timbalero to ever live. It’s no wonder that she is an instrumental virtuoso and internationally recognized performer.
Sheila tends to be most noted for her work with Prince. She joined his band during the Purple Rain recording sessions. Unfortunately, much is written about her finest accomplishments coming while in the shadow of Prince. But I think that depends on who you ask. Besides, how can you talk about someone’s greatest accomplishments while they are still alive and looking better than ever?
I come from a large Latin family, and if you ask about Sheila E it’s no question that she is a reverable musician among the largely male dominated field. She launched her solo career in 1984 with The Glamorous Life, classic! And opened for Prince during the Purple Rain Tour. In 1985 she released Romance 1600 which gave way to the hit “A Love Bizarre.” Attached in this post you will find an amazing video of her performing alongside Prince, who looks divine in his purple heels and trench coat! That man does not play.
Check out this video of Sheila E and Prince breakin it down!
Here is she playing timbales for Gloria Estefan; Carlos Santana and Jose Feliciano are also on this track. Isn’t it lovely how things come full circle? The magic of creativity in motion.
Sheila E is still very active in the music community, whether performing with family, or during special events. Her foundation, Elevate Hope, is dedicated to providing abused and abandoned children with an alternative method of therapy through music and the arts, and funding special services and programs that assist the needs of children. Chronicles Of Every Diva, C.O.E.D, is a band she formed with two other members, Kat Dyson and Rhonda Smith. They rocked a few tour dates in ’09, be sure to keep updated by checking their website.
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