Last year, the singer-songwriter and percussionist Sheila E. was busy working on two albums — a dance record and a tribute to her longtime friend and collaborator Prince — but neither felt completely right at the time.
Her mind kept coming back to the polarized state of American discourse, exacerbated, she said, by the election of President Donald Trump.
“Our country, there was craziness going on,” the artist born Sheila Escovedo said recently. “We lost respect for each other. … It’s just horrible. I feel like we’re going backwards.”
So the 59-year-old musician turned to the protest music of decades past for inspiration, and on Sept. 1, Sheila E. — who headlines...