Former Third World Percussionist Willie Stewart Leads Students from West Broward High School 15 professional international artists and musicians

Epic Percussion Power!  The journey that began eight years ago in Broward County returns on January 19 for two shows, 3 PM and 7:30 PM, following capacity-crowd performances at Miramar Cultural Center, Miami’s Arsht Center, Ft. Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse, and Broward’s Bailey Hall. 

 Demonstrating the transformative power of music

Once again, “Reggae Ambassador” Willie Stewart, former lead percussionist and co-director of the international group Third World, will demonstrate the transformative power of music, showcasing the talents of 25 musical novices from West Broward High School who have trained rigorously throughout the autumn. Included in their preparation are sessions with professional musicians, singers, and dancers to provide not only context to the music, but additional on-stage excitement to captivate audiences and bring them to their feet. 

 A musical journey

Rhythms of Africa is 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. It is truly the rhythms of the Diaspora, seasoned by time, cultivated and rooted by generations of pilgrims.   

 Featuring Selena Serrano

The Presentation will feature the versatile and universal voice of Selena Serrano , lady of soul Tessie Porter, the energetic performer Que De Wiz, unique voice & rhythm guitar Bobby Rose, doctor of keys Leroy Romans, MD master of keys Vinni Hamilton, lead guitarist Dr. Clarence Charles, powerhouse on bass Frank Burt, sax legend – Jesse Jones, the supreme jazz & blues singer and electrifying violinist Nicole Yarling, master percussionist Carlos Planas,  trombonist supreme Ivan Parra with his amazing team of horn players, on congas young and up coming master drummer/percussionist Miguel Russell,  djembe specialist soloist Nany Graham and Dancers and more.   

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. Support for this program and performance has been provided by the Broward County Cultural Division, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Soul Engineering, The McFarland Firm, The Children Services Council of Broward County, WBHS PTSA, and many private individuals and local businesses that share the organization’s mission and goals. 

“People who watch these students during the workshops see their incredible development, so that in no time at all, when the performance comes around, their whole lives have changed for the better,” Willie Stewart notes. “Music is the soul of humanity, the universal language, timeless and eternal — shouldn’t it be central to our children’s lives? It’s all about the music. It’s all about the children.” 


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