Local Current Blog

Sheila E announces benefit show on October 23 at Orchestra Hall

Sheila E poses with Minneapolis artist Maria Isa at a press conference Friday morning (Photo from Maria Isa's Instagram)

Legendary drummer and Prince collaborator Sheila E visited the Sabanthi Community Center in South Minneapolis this morning (the very same building where Prince attended Central High School in the 1970s) to announce the “Purple Philanthropy Sheila E. Benefit Concert,” happening October 23 at Orchestra Hall.

When plans were being solidified for the October 13 Prince tribute, which will take place at the Xcel and feature Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilara, Chaka Khan, and many others, Sheila E noted that she would not be participating, but said that, “In the course of the days, months and years ahead I like many of you will continue to honor Prince in various ways.”

Today, she unveiled that her plans will include this event in Prince’s hometown, and will include youth musicians from the Twin Cities and is a partnership with the Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project.

“We were going to do a show here in Minneapolis, and we said to the family that we wouldn’t do a show until after they did their tribute,” Sheila E said at the press conference this morning. She explained that when the official Prince tribute moved from an earlier date in August to October 13, she was already booked and wasn’t able to confirm an appearance at the larger tribute. Now, she’s coming to Minneapolis to honor Prince in her own way.

Sheila E was introduced this morning by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.

“As the Mayor of Minneapolis, I am honored to be able to participate in a concert that honors Prince, and that honors the community. I am grateful for this concert because it gives us an opportunity as a city to come together, to pick up, to protect, and to carry Prince’s legacy of supporting our city’s young people,” Hodges said.

“This partnership is going to be pretty amazing. This is just the beginning of a lot of great things we’d like to do for these kids. These are our next presidents and CEOs,” Sheila E said, pointing to young students who were attending the event. “All the great things they want to do, we have to encourage them and continue to uplift them in doing so. Prince loved helping people without saying anything. He never told anyone or called the press… He just did it, quietly.”

Proceeds from the October 23 concert will go toward the Purple Philanthropy fund. Community organizations that received support from Prince in the past will be able to apply for grant funding to continue programs that target youth living in poverty. Tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10 a.m. via the Orchestra Hall box office.

While at the press conference, Sheila E also took time to take photos with several notable members of the local music community, including Grammy-winning producer and Executive Director of the Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project, Louis Andre Fischer, and the hip-hop artist, actress, activist, and educator Maria Isa.