News Column

Audience takes to the Multifest stage ; Girl, 8, drums up excitement; Audience member gets chance to dance, play music with Sheila E. [Charleston Daily Mail (WV)]

August 5, 2013


D Go online to see video from Multifest

Not many people can say they got to dance with a music star, let alone at the first concert they've ever attended.

But Cydeny Brown can make that boast after dancing with Sheila E. and playing on the famed percussionist's drum set on stage at Multifest over the weekend.

Cydeny, 8, was dancing in the crowd Saturday night with her mother, Marqurita Brown, 49, for Sheila E.'s performance.

Brown was excited to see the percussionist at Multifest, having enjoyed her music in the past. Her daughter, Cydeny, had never heard of Sheila E. (born Sheila Escovedo) but that didn't stop her from dancing and jamming to the music.

The 55-year-old Sheila E., known for her Billboard hits "The Glamorous Life," "A Love Bizzare" and her collaborations with Prince and others, headlined Saturday's Multifest concerts. She went on a little after 10 p.m. and performed hits like "The Glamorous Life" from her 1984 solo debut album of the same title and "Holly Rock" from the 1989 movie Krush Groove.

Cydeny's dance moves caught the performer's attention and the next thing she knew she was being lifted onto the stage.

"She pointed at me," Cydeny said Sunday afternoon at her home on Charleston's West Side.

"She said 'Me?' and the people in the crowd said 'Yeah, you!'" Brown said of the moment.

Cydeny, who will start third grade this year at Shoals Elementary School, said she felt squished as the crowd pushed her forward to a security guard who lifted her up onto the stage.

"(Sheila E.) said 'Can you dance with me?' and I said, 'Yeah,'" Cydeny said. "I was scared at first, but she was dancing beside me so it was OK."

"I couldn't believe it; she wasn't shy or anything," said Brown, who works for a home health care agency.

Cydeny's big brother Zach, 12, was happy for his sister and was excited to see her on stage.

At first the pair danced as the band played their upbeat take on "When the Saints Go Marching In," but then the performer handed her a pair of sticks and told her she could play.

Cydeny, a cheerleader for the Midwestern Big Blues, has never played the drums before but she gave it a shot. She said it was fun and that the performer told her she did a good job.

She took home a pair of autographed drumsticks but gave them to her godmother for safekeeping, as the family is moving soon. Cydeny said she'd never been to a music performance like that before and had never seen a musician so close in real life.

"She looks really, really young and she was really pretty," Cydeny said of the performer.

Cydeny said the memorable experience made her feel like a star.

"She was," her mother said smiling proudly at her.

CRAIG CUNNINGHAM/DAILY MAIL Cydeny Brown, 8, of Charlestons West Side, got a chance to play drums on stage with performer Sheila E. at Saturday nights Multifest celebration. n To see more photos from Multifest, turn to page 5A.

CRAIG CUNNINGHAM/DAILY MAIL Sheila E. gives Cydeny a hug after the performance.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.

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