I’m going to wrap up my look at songs from that old “Polyrhythms” cassette mix tape that I pulled out a few days ago and listened to for inspiration by taking a look at an artist that was on that cassette, along with her family, with some ferocious percussion and drumming that runs rich in their blood.
The artist is Sheila E — E as in Escovedo, as in she became a big star under the guidance of Prince, but her family name by itself is just as powerful in the music world, well-known for Latin percussion.
And it shows just how close a “family” musicians can be. Check out this lineage from her Wikipedia entry: the daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs. Sheila E’s uncle is Alejandro Escovedo. 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.
But enough background for now. On with the music, starting with what made her burst onto the music scene in a big way with that signature Prince style, and looking a bit more into what she’s done lately, including with family members.