MIRAMAR – Percussionist Willie Stewart’s “Rhythms of Africa / Music Around the World” performances, featuring specially trained at-risk youngsters both on their own and paired with international musicians, has drawn accolades from fans, music critics, educators, and community leaders in South Florida for the past five years. The show, a musical journey that describes the movement of ancient rhythms sprung from the souls of vibrant cultures and carried by hand and heart from Africa to the Caribbean, South America, and the New World, presents the rhythms of the Diaspora seasoned by time, cultivated and rooted by generations of pilgrims.
Two shows on Sunday, January 11th at 2pm and 6pm will add a personal as well as historical edge when three of Willie’s former band mates from the original Third World ensemble join him and 50 students from Somerset Academy Central Miramar on stage at The Miramar Cultural Center/Arts Park. The magic and epic rhythms of vintage Third World return in force when Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper (band leader, keyboardist and vocalist), Irvin ‘Carrot’ Jarrett (percussionist), and Milton ‘Prilly’ Hamilton (lead vocalist) stand side by side with Willie Stewart once again. They are certain to thrill older and younger generations with their unique sound and style!
Also appearing are legendary saxophonist Arturo Tappin, bassist Keith Jones (formerly of Santana), Junior Jazz (former lead vocalist and lead guitarist of Inner Circle), Roger George (Junior Calypso Monarch) and Grammy producer and keyboardist Handel Tucker.
Local and up-and-coming artists include: vocalists Selena Seranno, Soleil Rowe and 10-year old Simona Saure, the three sisters of 3B4jhoy; rappers J Will & G Cole from Wraps & Kush; vocalist and violinist Nicole Yarling and the Sons of Mystro violin duet; master percussionists Carlos Planas and Miguel Russell on congas, and Kobe Allyene on steel pan; keyboardist Vinni Hamilton and guitarist Richie Walters. You can count on choreographed dancing, drama and pulse-pounding percussion for a 90-minute exposition of classic Caribbean sights and sound.
“The kids from the school never leave the stage,” Willie notes. “They’re not only going to see a show from a perspective they’ll never forget– they’re an integral part of it. They’re the reason we do this and why these amazing musicians take the time to share their skills and stories.”
The program is a presentation of Embrace Music Foundation, a Broward-based non-profit corporation with a mission to restore, preserve, and fortify the impact of music — education, appreciation, and performance — in schools and communities, and to amplify its role in the development of children and families. Co-sponsoring the show this time is The Irie Foundation, commencing its exciting new partnership with Embrace Music Foundation to serve at-risk youth of South Florida throughout 2015 and beyond.