Arts & Entertainment

Sheila E. to Headline Jazz House Kids Annual Benefit Event, May 14


MONTCLAIR, NJ - World class drummer an percussionist Sheila E. will be performing at the 2015 Inside the Jazz Note Annual Benefit hosted by Montclair-based non-profit Jazz House Kids. Grammy-award winning bass virtuoso Christian McBride will accompany Sheila E on stage on Thursday, May 14, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at the Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair State University.  

The program is divided into two action-packed events: a free afternoon masterclass (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm) for hundreds of high school and college band and choral students and their instructors from across New Jersey; and, in the evening (7:30 pm), a rare encounter of "behind the scenes" conversation and concert for the public. 

General admission evening tickets are $35 and $55.  A special $125 Jazz Note Benefactor package is offered, and includes best of house seating and a post-concert reception with Christian McBride and friends.  Student and group tickets are also available.  All proceeds support Jazz House Kids' full mission.  For tickets, call 973-744-2273 or visit

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Sheila E.'s four-decade career beats with colorful fusions of pop, R&B, funk, jazz and Latin music that shape her unique style.  Influenced by the Latin jazz roots of her legendary Escovedo family and celebrated collaborators, Sheila E.'s intoxicating onstage presence illuminates her fierce talent behind the music.  

Her music-immersed childhood helped the gifted musician amass an impressive string of early credits playing with her father and pioneering talents like George Duke, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and Herbie Hancock. Sheila E.'s famed collaborations with Prince in the 1980s and later Ringo Starr's All Star Band, spring-boarded her solo career.  She continues to be a major influence in the music industry touring across the globe with the launch of her new album, Icon from Stilettoflats Music; the recent publication of The Beat of My Own Drum, her autobiography from Simon & Schuster; the opening of the E Spot Lounge in Studio City, California; and her wide-ranging philanthropy projects.  

Bassist extraordinaire, composer, arranger, educator, curator and arts administrator: all these labels apply to McBride, one of the most important and prolific figures in the jazz world for the last 25 years.  In addition to his dozen solo releases, McBride has collaborated as a sideman with the "who's who" of the music industry: everyone from James Brown and McCoy Tyner to Sting and Paul McCartney.

The four-time GRAMMY Award-winning bassist is Artistic Chair and Board Member at Jazz House Kids and directs the Montclair Jazz Festival produced by Jazz House Kids.  McBride hosts the National Public Radio show, "Jazz Night in America" and serves as artistic advisor of the James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

The award-winning Jazz House Big Band, directed by Julius Tolentino, will accompany the two Jazz powerhouses on stage fo the 7th annual event.  Considered one of the premier youth bands in the nation, the Jazz House Big Band is composed of 26 talented high school musicians from across New Jersey who are selected through competitive auditions.  The students commit a full year to the ensemble, and present a number of high-profile performances.   

According to Melissa Walker, president & founder of Jazz House Kids, the big band represents the next generation of jazz artists. "The Jazz House Big Band is the pinnacle of our ensemble program.  These talented high school students are on their way toward becoming accomplished artists who create their own swing and style," she said.  "Together they stand on the shoulders of the jazz legends who have graced our stage over the years at Inside the Jazz Note."


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