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Reggae Ambassadors and Somerset Academy Central Miramar Students Embrace Music And set the Stage a Blaze to a Mesmerized Crowd

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Miramar Cultural Center Artspark was ablaze with rhythm, music and soul this past Sunday, January 11th, as the Legendary Silver Foxes, and original Third World Band members Willie Stewart, Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper, Irvin ‘Carrot’ Jarrett and Milton ‘Prilly’ Hamilton welcomed friends, and fellow musicians to the jam session of a lifetime. Audience members could feel the sands of the Serengeti sweep across their face as they were whisked away to the Motherland by the drumbeats of “The Rhythms of Africa: Music Around the World”, presented by Embrace Music Foundation in association with the Irie Foundation.

In true altruistic fashion, guest artists Keith Jones, master bassist of Santana fame; Arturo Tappin, the uber sexy saxophonist from Barbados; Junior Jazz formerly of Inner Circle; violinist Nicole Yarling; Acapella trio 3B4JHOY; hailing directly from Jamaica, 10-year-old singing sensation, Simona Saure; J Will and G Cole and Sons of Mystro joined the 50 students from Somerset Academy Central Miramar on stage, who after only 26 hours of mentoring performed like seasoned pros to sold out crowds for both the 2pm and 6 pm shows. The show got off to a rousing start with 13 year Soleil Rowe’s spirited rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Stellar performances were delivered by 14 year old Kobe Alyenne who played the steel drums like he was born aside the pan instrument; while a catchy salsa moment was delivered by Selena Serrano who had the audience swinging their hips to the beat. A moving tribute to the late great William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke was one of the highlights of the evening, when his daughter, Adrianna Clarke, joined the group led by “Prilly” Hamilton in a heartwarming rendition of Peace Flags.

The Calypso Monarch Roger George, Jr. had the soca lovers playing mass in the aisles. People were on their feet dancing and swaying to the music as we journeyed from Africa to the Caribbean then south to Brazi, featuring l and ending the journey back in America via New Orleans. Rhythms of Africa is a labor of love and produced with the sole goal of empowering youth through music education. As always, before closing the show, Willie Stewart made an impassioned plea to the audience to rally our politicians and leaders to return art and music to our schools. His fantastic mission has produced a cadre of young people who are a living testament to the power of music and the impact it has made in their lives.

Rhythms of Africa is here to feed the mind, body and souls of the children, our future generation. Willie Stewart’s creation, is an award worthy production and an overwhelming success as audiences came from far and wide to see the 5th edition of this pulsating drumming masterpiece. Keep an eye out for next year’s edition to see Stewart weave his magic, and remember tickets go super quickly. Get yours early, so you too can sit back and enjoy the journey.

Embrace Music Foundation, is a Broward-based 501 (c) 3 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.

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Written by jamarch