Paul & Sheila met in 1969 in Hollywood in the Moacir Santos group. Moacir is known to Brazilians as ‘The Brazilian Duke Ellington’  Sheila was the singer on Moacir’s first U.S.A. album, for BlueNote, “Maestro” [1]

While in Los Angeles Paul joined the Willie Bobo band. Willie was a pioneer in latin Jazz,and incorporating pop into latin jazz. Sheila wrote a song for Willie which he called “Experience”. In the 90’s this became “The Willie Bobo Experience” when Paul put a lyric to it and they recorded it as a trio, with Brad Buethe on guitar. [2]

Sheila had sat in with Willie's band in Boston, her hometown. Willie was so impressed with her timbale playing he had her sign his timbale head on the edge. He later showed it to Paul when he joined the band.

In Boston Sheila worked at the Playboy Club as a percussionist with a lounge group. The other band members encouraged her to sing, and thus began her unique style of playing and singing together.

She studied percussion with Don Alias, and with Don played in the “Los Muchachos” group, with Mark Levine on piano. They played for latin dancers. Here is an excerpt with a timbale solo by Sheila. [3]

When Mark Levine joined the Mongo Santamaria band and moved to L.A., he wrote his most popular song, originally entitled ‘Sheila’ when Mongo recorded it. The album was not released for 25 years. During that period, Mark recorded it and re-named it ‘Linda Chicana’, a latin jazz standard. [4]

In Los Angeles Mark was introduced to Moacir Santos by trumpeter Luis Gasca, with whom Paul had worked and shared rooms in Mexico. Back in L.A. he turned Paul on to Willie Bobo, and Mark on to Moacir. In turn, Mark recommended Sheila to Moacir Santos.

When Sheila arrived in L.A. to join Moacir's group Paul went to the manager’s house to meet her, and took along his friend Yusuf Rahman with him. Yusuf was doing a lot of writing and was connected to Charles Wright of the Watts 103rd St. band, with whom he occasionally toured. Yusuf became one of Paul & Sheila’s best friends.

He collaborated with Sheila on “You Don't Have to Go” the song heard in the ‘welcome’ page on this website. This is the only song Paul & Sheila ever recorded with just the two of them. It was one of the first songs Sheila wrote to Paul encouraging him to make up his mind during their courtship, which lasted one year before Sheila moved in with Paul to an apartment at the Halifax on Yucca and Cahuenga in Hollywood, just up the street from Shelly’s Manne Hole, the great jazz club

The night she moved in they went to Shelly’s and heard the Bill Evans Trio. An auspicious beginning!

Yusuf introduced Sheila to Stevie Wonder and took her to Charles Wright’s pad where she spent the week sitting on the piano bench with Stevie. Her vocal range was not right for the background singer’s slot Stevie was trying to fill, but later that year, 1972, he called her to record with him on two songs, “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” on the ‘Innervisions’ album, and “Big Brother” on the ‘Talking Book’ album. She was only credited on the ‘Innervisions’ album Sheila Wilkerson.

During this period they made their first studio recording at Cherokee Studio in Hollywood. Paul wrote his first Spanish translation/lyric to a pair of pop hits. This whole recording will eventually be posted here. Here's a sample. [5]

The same year Paul & Sheila formed their first band, a quartet with Dwayne Smith-piano, and Chico Batera-drums. Chico was the original drummer with Sergio Mendes when he first came to the U.S. Chico took a tape of that group back to Brazil when he moved back to Rio in 1972 On the strength of that he secured a 6 months engagement for them. The first pianist in Rio was Wagner Tisot often heard with Milton Nascimento. Chico was touring with Elis Regina as a percussionist, so he would send in local drummers to cover for him. As a result , Paul & Sheila got to know and play with: Boto, Chico Buarque's drummer, Mamão, of Azimuth fame, João Palma, Brazil 66, and Nana Vasconçelos. After a couple of months, the owner, Alfredão-Big Al, decided he only wanted to run the jet set restaurant across the street. He paid Paul & Sheila for the entire contract and let them stay in the apartment he had provided for them.

By this time they were speaking Portuguese, having taken a class down the street at the Brazil/United States Institute, IBEU. They were free to pursue local gigs. They formed a Quintet with local musicians to perform Sheila’s original material. One concert was recorded. The full concert will be released in the Audio page. [6]

Paul took a gig with the guitarist in their quintet, Ary Piassarollo, in a club in the Lido Plaza in Copacabana, “A Fossa”, where they held forth 6 nights a week. Here’s a little clip recorded at the Fossa with Sheila sitting in. [7]

While in Rio they bought their first portable cassette recorder, enabling them to document their stay in Brazil. They spent a lot of time listening to a local trio, Laercio De Freitas, pianist & leader, with Hurgo on bass, and Lula on drums. The singer was a young Emilio Santiago just starting out. Paul & Sheila used to sit in with the group. Here's a clip with Sheila singing. [8]

Many people have asked for complete versions of the  short embedded clips in the original Bio page, so Here They Are.