NCCU Welcomes Grammy Award-Winning Percussionist Sheila E., March 23

Posted March 16, 2023, 2:27PM

World famous drummer and percussionist Sheila E. will speak to the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) community about her career journey during the Leadership in Entertainment and the Arts Program (L.E.A.P.) Talk symposium on March 23, 2023, at 10:40 a.m., in the NCCU Student Center at 500 Nelson St.

Known as one of the most talented musical icons in the nation, Sheila E.’s musical career began when, at age 15, she filled in on the congas for her father’s Latin-rock-funk band Azteca during their opening slot for the Temptations in San Francisco. Following that performance, she continued to tour with Azteca.

After playing for musicians Herbie Hancock and George Duke among others, Sheila E. met Prince backstage at a show. In 1984, she and Prince collaborated on the single, synth funk track “Erotic City,” followed by her first critically-acclaimed solo album, “The Glamorous Life,” which she and Prince compiled over the course of a week of jam sessions. The album garnered multiple Grammy and American Music Award nominations and won MTV's Best Video Award. She opened for Prince’s Purple Rain Tour and played for European and American audiences on her own as her solo career flourished.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, she recorded her own music, releasing three additional albums; toured with Prince on his Sign O’ The Times and Lovesexy tours; and accompanied her father and Tito Puente on a Latin jazz concert tour, which was later released as the album Latina Familia. She also began acting in feature films.

As founder of the music production company Heaven Productions, Sheila E. has also been recognized for her philanthropic work using music therapy to aid children in need.

Led by NCCU alumnus and Grammy and Stellar Award-nominated artist Marcus Anderson, L.E.A.P. provides exclusive behind-the-scenes perspectives to NCCU students that help prepare them for a career in the entertainment industry. Delivered in three components, the talks meld the spontaneity and community of in-person interactions with leading entertainment influencers with the self-paced structure of online delivery of the fundamentals of the field. 

MEDIA NOTE: Media are invited to attend the L.E.A.P. Talk symposium and interview Sheila E. on March 23, between 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., in the NCCU Student Center. 

To confirm an interview, please RSVP at by 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 22. 

Note, RSVPs are mandatory and no exceptions will be made after the deadline.

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