GRAND CASINO HINCKLEY
Saturday, April 11 at 7 p.m.
Ticket Price(s): $40, $45
One of life’s constants for Sheila E. comes down to a simple phrase: follow the beat. And her impeccable inner rhythm is the pulse behind a trailblazing career that still knows no bounds.
Family, faith, and music were guiding forces for Sheila E. growing up in the Bay Area. In addition to percussionist dad Pete, the Oakland, Calif. native counts former Santana member/Azteca founder Coke Escovedo and The Dragons' front man Mario Escovedo as uncles. Fellow Latin star Tito Puente was her godfather. In addition to being weaned on Latin jazz and Motown, Sheila E. was exposed to a diverse array of Bay Area acts. Those influences ranged from the rock of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead to the R&B/pop of the Pointer Sisters and the funk of Sly & the Family Stone. “I used to sit on the corner outside of the local community center with Twinkies and 7-Up listening to Sly and Larry Graham rehearse,” remembers Sheila E. “The sounds of the Bay Area molded me.”
So it’s no surprise that after such a music-immersive childhood, the gifted, world-class drummer and percussionist began amassing an impressive string of credits, playing not only with her dad but also with pioneering talents like George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Prince, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Beyoncé, and Jennifer Lopez. She's the Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter behind the seminal hits “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre.” A fearless multi-instrumentalist equally proficient on guitar and bass. Actress. Mentor. Philanthropist.
Following a Bay Area gig in the late ‘70s, Sheila E. met Prince backstage. Their Purple Rain recording sessions — including her vocals on the 1984 classic “Erotic City” — morphed into launching her solo career that same year. Debut album The Glamorous Life spun off the Grammy Award-nominated top-10 hit of the same name, plus a second top-40 single, “The Belle of St. Mark.” Between her ‘80s tenure as drummer, songwriter, and musical director for Prince’s backup band, Sheila E. released two more solo albums (Romance 1600 and Shelia E.) and scored another classic hit with “A Love Bizarre.”
Sheila E.’s fierce, dynamic verve onstage has made her a major concert draw since the ‘90s. Along the way, she has acted in several films (“Krush Groove,” “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane,” “Chasing Papi”) and launched various music projects (C.O.E.D., E Family Band). She added to her arsenal of credits performing on the 2012 Academy Awards with pop hitmaker Pharrell Williams and composer Hans Zimmer. Sheila E. was also among the roster of stars chosen to perform at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors, whose honorees included artists Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, and Carlos Santana.