Women Who Rock benefit concert to honor legendary drummer Sheila E. | Pittsburgh City Paper

Women Who Rock benefit concert to honor legendary drummer Sheila E.

click to enlarge Sheila E. - COURTESY OF WOMEN WHO ROCK
Courtesy of Women Who Rock
Sheila E.
The Women Who Rock benefit concert is back and the lineup for this year is stacked. With 100% female-fronted bands and musical acts, it’s the perfect event to attend if you want to see women at the forefront making a difference in the music industry. Proceeds from the concert benefit Magee-Women's Research Institute & Foundation, with funds going toward understudied women’s health issues.

The show — taking place Sat., Oct. 16 at Stage AE — will feature Australian singer-songwriter Orianthi, actress and singer Rita Wilson, Lauren Monroe, The Vindy’s, and Pittsburgh’s own DJ Femi. The event also includes Michele Michaels of WDVE iHeart Radio acting as emcee.

The highlight of the event is a special appearance by drummer and pop star Sheila E., who will be honored with the 2021 Women Who Rock Impact Award.


Best known for her hit single "The Glamorous Life," Sheila E. has been working in the music industry since the 1970s, most notably as a collaborator with Prince. Her career includes producing solo albums, starring in films, and doing music direction, and her prowess with the drums has earned her the title Queen of Percussion.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized for the Impact Award,” says Sheila E. in a press release.

Sheila E. went on to thank Women Who Rock and Magee-Women’s Research Institute for the "incredible and life-changing work" they do.

"When I think of impact, I think of all of the women — mentors, my mother, my grandmother, sisters, colleagues, new and lifelong friends — who have lifted me up throughout the years and continually inspired me to pay it forward," she adds.
click to enlarge Graciela - COURTESY OF WOMEN WHO ROCK
Courtesy of Women Who Rock
Graciela
Also featured is 14-year-old Pittsburgh native Graciela, or Gracie, who was recently recognized as a Rising Star by the Women Who Rock Organization. Graciela, who grew up splitting her time between homes in Pittsburgh and Florida, went home as the winner during a competition held on Sept. 18 in Downtown Market Square. As part of this honor, Graciela will open up the night of music by performing some of her own songs.


In a press release, Women Who Rock Founder, Melinda Colaizzi, calls Graciela’s winning performance "stunning," and describes the message of the young performer's original song "Best Days" as intertwining seamlessly with "the mission and spirit that the Women Who Rock organization was founded upon.”

"Best Days" is described as deriving inspiration from Graciela's siblings, including her older brother, who has autism, and her younger adopted sister, who she says "suffers with the emotional aftermath of abuse endured by her previous living situation." The soundscape of the track "echoes with angelic vocals to paint imagery of blue skies that open to new possibilities and a hand-holding, walk-along journey toward a better tomorrow."

As part of her Rising Star prize, Graciela will also receive recording time, mentorship, and performance opportunities spearheaded by the Women Who Rock organization throughout the remainder of the year and leading into 2022.

Those attending the show will have free access to the Beauty Bar, with perks from Macy’s Bronze Beauty, and Skin Chic, a photo booth, and more. There will be a happy hour and lounge for VIP ticket holders, with gift bags valued at over $300.

Another benefit of the show will be a Rockstar Silent Auction, featuring memorabilia from Sheila E., Rick Allen of Def Leppard, Taylor Swift, and others. Walk the “pink carpet" before entering the venue with correspondent Natalie Bencivenga of the Heating Up cooking show.


With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there is no better time to fund research on issues that affect women’s health and overall well-being. Women Who Rock presents a unique experience to have a fun night of music while supporting these crucial research efforts.

This night of music championing great women in rock is sure to be one for the books. Make sure to get your tickets while you can.

Gibson Gives Presents Women Who Rock Benefit Concert. 6 p.m. Sat., Oct. 16. Stage AE. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $50-250. womenwhorock.info/2021-benefit-concert