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Willie Stewart Of Third World Presents 2nd Annual Rhythms Of Africa, October 15, 2011, Florida

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The 2nd Annual Rhythms of Africa: Music Around the World, taking place  October 15 at 2p.m. & 7 p.m. at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a free concert that describes the movement of ancient rhythms sprung from the souls of vibrant cultures and carried from Africa to the Caribbean, South America and the New World.   Under the direction of Willie Stewart, who played percussion for 23 years with the legendary band Third World, this theatrical, inspirational and educational production will unite the entire community in a stirring celebration of music.
Presented by Willie Stewart’s Embrace Music Foundation, this musical odyssey features at-risk youth from Lauderdale Lakes Educational Complex’s Smart School Charter Middle and Eagle Charter Academy who find inspiration and confidence working alongside more than a dozen professional musicians. 
Willie believes in sharing the power of the Arts with children, which allows them to discover who they are and how they impact the world in which they live.  Willie notes, “I have seen many times how children’s lives are changed, turned around for the good, when they’re given a chance. It isn’t me, it’s the music.  Only music can do this.” Sixty students, ages 13- 16, undergo 6 weeks of rigorous world class instruction provided by Willie at no cost, which began September 2nd  as a part of the educational complex’s afterschool program.
On the heels of a sell-out inaugural show held in Miramar in February 2010, this project received The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge Grant of $25,000 in November 2010.
This free event, set for October 15 at Parker Playhouse (an affiliated venue of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts), will have two showings, 2p.m. and 7 p.m. Rhythms of Africa is made possible by a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge Grant and generous support from the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson P.A, MoneyGram, Law Office of Shapiro, Fishman & Gache, Grace Foods USA, Bank Atlantic, City of Fort Lauderdale, Steady Image, Inc. Seaboard Marine, Air Jamaica (Caribbean Airlines), National Endowment for the Arts, Broward Cultural Division, Jamaica Tourist Board and many other generous donors. 
FREE  tickets will be made available to the public starting September 21. For tickets and information visit www.RhythmsofAfrica.net, www.ParkerPlayhouse.com, “like” us at Facebook.com/RhythmsofAfrica or call the Parker Playhouse Box Office at 954.462.0222. 
The show is presented by the Embrace Music Foundation, whose mission is 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.

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Written by Staff Writer