Passionate Musician. Legendary Opener. Valley Convert.
It’s been nearly three decades since Sheila E. rose to the top of the charts with “The Glamorous Life,” launching her solo career. And in a true testament to her talent, she’s still a headline act. In June, she and her band will hit the prestigious 34th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival (playboyjazz festival.com) at the Hollywood Bowl.
“We’ll perform a mix of old school and Latin jazz. I expect everybody to get up on their feet for a big dance party!” she predicted before the event.
The Sherman Oaks resident says it’s a joy to reconnect with fans. “I run into people every week who say, ‘I went to your Prince concert!’ or ‘My dad or my mom loves you.’ It’s exciting for me when people bring their kids,” she shares.
Her career was launched after she caught the attention of Prince, who not only changed her last name from Escovedo to E., but also hired her as the opening act for his legendary Purple Rain concert tour. Since, she’s worked almost non-stop, recording albums, concert touring with various recording artists (including Prince) and performing with stars ranging from Jennifer Lopez to Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds to Ringo Starr.
She credits her longevity in the constantly changing music business to moving forward creatively but staying true to her roots. “I always try to stay true to who I am,” she quips.
Her roots are firmly entrenched in Latin music. Growing up in the Bay area as the daughter of well-known percussionist Pete Escovedo, Sheila picked up a set of drums as a child and never put them down. Although most people think of her as a singer, she is widely regarded in the music industry as a top-notch percussionist.
The entertainer migrated to the Valley several years ago, after living in Bel Air and Beverly Hills. The switch was lifestyle-motivated. “Over there, there’s something going on every night. Although I love it, I want to be able to get away from the entertainment business at times. When I’m here in the Valley, I live a separate life.” And in classic Sheila E. fashion, she’s never looked back.
Sheila’s Valley Hits
“I‘ve been going to La Loggia (11814 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City) for 15 years. I love the food and the vibe. And I’m friends with Frank, the owner.”
“I have always gone to Pete’s Coffee & Tea. I am from the Bay area, where this chain started, so of course it is my favorite spot for coffee.”
“I still listen to old school bands like Sly and the Family Stone and Santana. For current artists, I think Bruno Mars is amazing! And Taylor Swift. She’s so young, yet she’s such a great storyteller.”