Hailed as the “Queen of Percussion” and regarded as one of the best female drummers ever, Sheila E. rose to fame during the 1980s thanks to her fierce drumming style and Latin rhythms. Her musical influences came from her own family, such as her percussionist father Pete Escovedo, musical uncles Coke Escovedo, Alejandro Escovedo, Mario Escovedo, and Javier Escovedo, in addition to godfather Tito Puente.
A protégé of Prince, Sheila E. was a drummer in his band before she went solo and recorded hits that included "The Glamorous Life,” the title track of her 1984 debut solo album.
Joining Sheila E. for the June 23 concert will be hip-hop soul artist Musiq Soulchild and reggae and dancehall artist Kranium.
Soulchild, who rose to fame with a musical style with blends of R&B, funk, blues, jazz, and gospel influences, has collaborated with many artists such as Talib Kweli, The Roots, Ice Cube and Kehlani. Throughout his career, he has been nominated for 13 Grammys and has two platinum and two gold albums.
The 28-year-old Kranium gained international recognition with his 2013 hit single "Nobody Has To Know." Kranium’s distinct sound can be heard on major collaborations with artists such as Ty Dolla $ign, Wizkid, Major Lazer, Tory Lanez, Rotimi, Bebe Rexha and Ed Sheeran.
“There is no better way to kickoff summer than by welcoming the Queen of Percussion to Queens for what will be a great concert,” said Katz. “Sheila E., Musiq Soulchild and Kranium are sure to put on a show that will get everyone up and dancing. Best of all, the concert will be free for everyone to attend.”
This year’s Only in Queens Summer Festival will celebrate the 55th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair and the 80th anniversary of the 1939 World’s Fair.
There will be exhibitions featuring World’s Fair photos and memorabilia from the Queens Museum on display.
“Every summer the Only in Queens Festival brings the funk to Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “Showcasing a range of artists who represent the diversity of its home borough, the festival enlivens one of our city’s most historic parks. NYC Parks is proud to partner with Borough President Katz once again to host this great cultural and community event."
In addition to the concert lineup, there will be food, activities and vendors available.
For instance, participants will use clues and the Global Positioning System capabilities of their mobile devices to take part in a scavenger hunt around Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Festival attendees will also have the chance to meet with NY1 anchors and reporters.
The food at the event will be curated by the popular Queens International Night Market.
"Presenting great artists in neighborhood parks, free of charge, is what SummerStage is about, turning those green spaces into lively community centers for all New Yorkers to enjoy," said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation.
The festival will take place on Sunday, June 23 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The SummerStage concert will begin at 5 p.m.