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Amazing opening to Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival

Cape students join on stage with Sheila E.
Sheila E. (Escovedo), center, performs with Cape students Emily Heilner, left, and Morgan Hurlock. Escovedo was impressed with the Cape music program and invited the students to be on stage with her. Heilner is an eighth grader at Beacon Middle School and Hurlock is a sophomore at Cape Henlopen High School. BY RON MACARTHUR
October 18, 2013

The 24th annual Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival got off to a rousing start Oct. 17 on the Cape Henlopen High School stage.

Performances by saxophonists Steve Cole and Marion Meadows kicked off the festival followed by an electrifying, energy-filled performance from Sheila E.

Making the evening even more special, Sheila E. was joined on stage for several numbers with her father, Pete Escovedo, who has been performing around the world for more than 50 years.

Then to top the evening off, two Cape Henlopen School District music students joined in with the band for a grand finale. Eighth-grader Emily Heilner and 10th-grader Morgan Hurlock jammed with the band and played a solo number.

Sheila E. was so impressed with the Cape music department and its jazz band that she asked the students to join her on stage. She also promotes music in schools through the Elevate Hope Foundation.

Following the concert, and more than an hour of signing autographs, Sheila E., her father and band were treated to a late-night, early-morning dinner at Cilantro in Rehoboth Beach.

Owner Gladys Fernandez invited the performers to her restaurant, and they accepted the invitation. And it was Fernandez who opened up the kitchen and cooked the meal. She would not accept payment, but did ask everyone to make donations to Sheila E.'s foundation.

The festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 20, at venues throughout the Cape region. Go to rehobothjazz.com for a complete schedule.

See more in the Tuesday, Oct. 22 edition.