Sheila E. is set to perform at Capital City Pride Fest 2023

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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. And on Friday, June 9 you will be able to see her perform live as she will be one of the featured headliners of the Capital City Pride Fest 2023.  

The 44th annual Pride Fest will be held June 9th – 11th, 2023, in the historic East Village of Des Moines, Iowa.

The festival continues to grow. Last year, it welcomed over 40,000 attendees throughout the PrideFest weekend. This year is expected the largest turnout yet.

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Sheila E. an iconic world-class drummer and percussionist 

Family, faith and music were guiding forces for Sheila E. growing up in the Bay Area. In addition to percussionist dad Pete, the Oakland, CA native counts former Santana member/Azteca founder Coke Escovedo and The Dragons frontman 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, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez. 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 and philanthropist.

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Sheila E.

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.”

Away from the spotlight, music doubles as a source of healing and giving back for Sheila E. And that was part of the inspiration for penning the autobiography “The Beat of My Own Drum”. Playing a perceived male instrument and working in a male-dominated industry exacted a personal price—several years ago Sheila E. publicly acknowledged she was an abuse survivor. “The book was the beginning of the healing”, says Sheila E. “I’d talked about working in a male-dominated industry in my ministry and addressed it in some of the song lyrics I’d written. But it was challenging to sit down and write about it in detail for the book. No one in my household told me I couldn’t play drums because I was a girl. It wasn’t until I was outside of the house and playing sessions. But through pain comes realization, understanding and the opportunity to help others overcome those challenges”.

Sheila E. still making music that comes from the heart

Sheila E. continues to produce and perform music throughout the world. Her last studio project and tour, ICONIC, was Sheila’s effort to bring awareness to social issues and humanitarianism. Her 2020 single releases, “No Line” with the legendary Snoop Dogg, “Lemon Cake” & “Bailar”are Sheila’s continued contributions to the music industry. The Queen of Percussion plans to release new music in 2022Sheila E. is CEO of the entertainment company StilettoFlats Inc. located in Los Angeles California.

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With no Google or YouTube artist script to follow back then, she says her career drive was propelled by one thing: “I just did it because I loved it. And that’s what Icon represents. I started all this as Sheila Escovedo then became this persona named Sheila E. Now Sheila E. and Sheila Escovedo are the same person, still making music that comes from the heart.”

The 44th annual Pride Fest will be held June 9th – 11th, 2023 in the historic East Village of Des Moines, Iowa. Sheila E. will perform on Friday, June 9 at 8 pm at the Kiss 107.5 Main Stage. For more information visit: capitalcitypride.org

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