Born into a musical family, Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E.) has been driven by an inner rhythm her entire life. As a young girl, she was immersed in the diverse music scenes of the Bay Area—influenced and inspired by her percussionist father Pete Escovedo; musical uncles Coke Escovedo, Alejandro Escovedo, Mario Escovedo, and Javier Escovedo; and godfather Tito Puente. Growing up in the Escovedo household, musical instruments were for everyone. “Nobody cared as long as you could keep time (or have a good time),” she writes in her memoir, The Beat Of My Own Drum.
Before Sheila had language, she had rhythm. When she was 3 years old, she developed a love for playing various musical instruments, feeling the most connected to the drums and other percussion instruments. Born into an environment filled with music, with music running through her veins, Sheila found an inner beat that fueled her every move. As a young child, she’d copy the hand movements of her father as he played the drums—planting the seed for what would quickly become her life’s passion.
At the age of 5, Sheila gave her first public performance for an audience of 3,000, appearing alongside her dad. It was while on that stage playing a drum solo that Sheila first realized she was going to be a percussionist. Five decades later, and the beat that has always driven her is showing no signs of slowing down. The famous drummer, singer, songwriter, author, humanitarian, and icon is following the beat of her own drum. She considers music to be the purest form of self-expression and the one true love of her life. Read Sheila’s full bio below.
Sexually abused at the age of 5, Sheila E. carried shame and pain around with her for years. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, music helped her to move beyond her abuse, to no longer let what had happened to her define who she is. Not only has she been blessed with the gift of music running through her veins, she’s been given a powerful tool to heal her wounds and help her express herself honestly.
Sheila is passionate about two things above most: music and helping others in need. Throughout her career, she’s been fortunate enough to get to share her story and use the power of music to help those who need it most. As a child, Sheila got a taste for independent humanitarian endeavors, discovering how fulfilling it could be to use your resources (however limited they may be) to help others. Sheila is an inspirationalist, using her talents and resources to help those who need the healing power of music.
Co-founded by Sheila E. in 2001, the Elevate Hope Foundation provides support and resources to abused and abandoned children. Through alternative methods of therapy involving music and the arts, the Elevate Hope Foundation offers children creative and constructive ways to express their feelings, while helping them improve their self-confidence, socialization skills, and more.
Formed from a partnership between the Elevate Hope Foundation and 51Oakland, Elevate Oakland is dedicated to providing arts and music education resources to students in Oakland. The mission of Elevate Oakland is to help elevate self-esteem, improve academic achievement, and increase attendance by creating or strengthening arts and music programs in Oakland’s public schools.
Starting out, Sheila E. owned the stage as a drummer and percussionist. But her career took an exciting turn when she met Prince backstage after a gig. The singer-songwriter revealed he had been following her career for some time, and the two quickly became friends. Their friendship eventually led to Sheila E. lending her vocals on Prince’s song “Erotic City”—a move that prompted her to launch her own solo singing career. Having been influenced by so many different genres of music over the years, as a singer, Sheila E. nails a variety of styles. From Latin, to jazz, to R&B, Sheila pours her heart and soul into every song. Sheila has had an evolutionary music career. Her sound changes with the era and her life. For example, Sheila’s first singles differ in sound from the Sheila E. of today. You can hear her maturation—as a person and an artist—as her career has grown.
Nothing compares to the rush that come from attending a live performance. You’re surrounded by fellow fans with similar interests. You’re getting to experience raw emotions, a one-of-a-kind show, a personal connection with a performer, and so much more. Her latest album, Icon, is meant to be heard in its most powerful setting—when performed live by Sheila, herself.
Exuding talent and passion from every bone in her body, Sheila gives a performance like no other. Known to improvise electric drum solos and involve her audience in each show, the lively Latin artist delivers a powerful production every time. You’ll feel the excitement as soon as she hits the stage. Experience the power of music and feel the energy by attending an upcoming concert in your area. Click below to find out when Sheila E. is coming to your city! Don’t forget to order your shirts and hats online before the show!