Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 12: Drummer Sheila Escovedo - AKA "Sheila E." - is 56-years-old today.


Besides her accomplishments as a solo performer, drummer and percussionist Sheila Escovedo, is best known for her work with Prince and Ringo Starr.

Drumming is in Sheila E.'s blood; literally. Born in Oakland, California, Sheila E. is the daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs. Sheila E's uncle is Alejandro Escovedo, formerly with Delphine Neid's first-wave punk rock group The Nuns, Rank and File and The True Believers, followed by a solo career.

Tito Puente was Escovedo's godfather.

She is also niece to Javier Escovedo, founder of seminal San Diego punk act, The Zeros. Another uncle, Mario Escovedo, fronted long-running indie rockers, The Dragons. Escovedo is of Mexican, African American, and Creole heritage Coke Escovedo, who was in Santana and formed the band Azteca, was also her uncle. Nicole Richie is Sheila E.'s biological niece.

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HIGHLY Recommended (Press album covers for direct links to Amazon):

Solo Two / Happy TogetherLatin Jazz ChristmasPurple Rain (Two-Disc Special Edition)

She made her recording debut with jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson on "Yesterday's Dream" in 1976. By her early twenties she had already played with George Duke, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross. She also plays violin and guitar.

Sheila met Prince at a concert in 1978, when she was performing with her father. After the show, he met her and vowed that one day she would join his band. The two would eventually join forces during the Purple Rain recording sessions. She provided vocals on the B-side to "Let's Go Crazy," "Erotic City" in 1983.

Though taken under Prince's wing, she proved to be a successful artist in her own right. In 1984 she scored hits with "The Glamorous Life," and "The Belle of St. Mark." She opened for the Purple Rain tour.

In 1985, she released Romance 1600, scored another hit with the track "A Love Bizarre," and the non-album track "Hollyrock" made its way to live shows and into the film Krush Groove. She was also nominated for an American Music Award and a Grammy for "The Glamorous Life."

Sheila E. recorded three albums during the '80s, The Glamorous Life, Romance 1600, and Sheila E.. She appeared in four films, Krush Groove with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and Blair Underwood in 1985, Prince's concert film, Sign 'O' the Times in 1987, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Chasing Papi in 2003.

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After leaving the Prince organization in 1989, Sheila E. recorded a few more albums, Sex Cymbal, Writes of Passage, and Heaven. However, the albums garnered little attention.

Sheila E. has performed three stints with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, in 2001, 2003, and 2006. Her drum "duets" with Starr are a moment of comic relief in the show, where they play the same parts but he quickly falls behind, shrugs and smiles as she takes off on an extended percussion solo.

On June 16, 2012, Sheila headlined the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California.

Sheila will be joining Dave Koz on his 2012 Christmas Tour, and 2013 will bring a solo CD from Sheila as well as her autobiography.

For more about Sheila, visit her Website at -

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