Epic Percussion Power! The journey that began eight years ago in Broward County returns on January 19 for two shows, 3 PM and 8 PM, following capacity-crowd performances at Miami’s Arsht Center, Ft. Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse, and Broward’s Bailey Hall.
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.
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.
This presentation of the show will feature guest artists “Professor” Que The Wiz, Shanna Lee (“The Voice of Culture”), Saxophone Legend Jesse Jones, Maestro Leroy Romans on keyboards, Nicole Yarling (“Lady of Blues Violin”), “The Voice of Sweetness” Selena Serrano, and many others. Audiences should be prepared to participate — sing, dance, clap, and turn the entire auditorium into a single stage.
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, VP Records, Soul Engineering, The McFarland Firm, WBHS PTSA, and many private individuals and local businesses that share the organization’s mission and goals.
“People who watch these kids 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.”
Tickets: $25, $15 for children 12 and under. To purchase adult tickets only, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rhythms-of-africa-music-around-the-world-tickets-51725404076?aff=ebdssbdestsearch . Children’s tickets available only at gate.