By LeToya Stairs, Rhythm of Africa Music Program & 2010 Knight Arts Challenge Winner

Reggae Ambassador Willie Stewart, whose musical odyssey includes 23 years as percussionist with the internationally renowned band “Third World,” partnered with Concerned Women of Africa on May 21, 2011 in Miami Gardens, to share a musical journey that describes the movement of ancient rhythms from across cultures.  The event was free to attendees and focused on uplifting, engaging and inspiring youngsters and families to share their talents with the world through the positivity of music.

Willie Stewart engages and connects families with percussion in Miami Gardens

This community workshop is just one demonstration of Willie’s ‘Solutions in Music’ that directly impact children and give back to the community.  Another of his solutions; the annual production of Rhythms of Africa, happening October 15, 2011. The event features 60 at-risk youngsters from the Eagle Charter Academy/Smart School of Lauderdale Lakes and the L.A. Lee YMCA Family Center, all musical novices, who will display their skills acquired through Willie’s rigorous instruction.   They will be joined by a dozen professional musicians in two unforgettable performances at Parker Playhouse.

Children as young as 2 years old, drum to the Rhythm of the beat at Willie Stewart's percussion workshop hosted by Concerned African Women.

“Rhythms of Africa” is a musical journey, one 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.

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