Ft Lauderdale, Florida – On February 29, 2020, starting at 7 PM, the Auditorium at Charles F. Dodge Performing Arts Center in Pembroke Pines will come alive with Rhythms of Africa – Music around the world. A festive blend of sights and sounds that have awed and delighted a diversity of audiences worldwide! Experience the power of music & percussion! Thrill to the Pan African/Caribbean rhythms of Reggae, Blues, Soca, Samba, Ska, Dance Hall, Calypso, Latin, New Orleans Jazz, Funk, R & B, Pop, Afro-Beats and more!
“Reggae Ambassador” and Grammy Nominated 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 Pembroke Pines Charter 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.
“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.”
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 the rhythms of the Diaspora, seasoned by time, cultivated and rooted by generations of pilgrims.
This year’s musical performance takes place in February, aligning with both Reggae Month and Black History Month celebrations. Accordingly, featured guest stars include recording artist Richie Stephens, who just returned home to Jamaica from a successful world tour in time for the request by the Jamaican Government to serenade the “Miss World 2020” for her homecoming. Also guest artist Grammy Nominated Etana, hot off her “Spread Love World Tour 2020” from Australia, New Zealand, and the USA, and special appearance by the legendary Pluto Shervington, celebrating 50 years of recording and performing Caribbean music and Wayne Armond band leader, singer and lead guitarist for the international group Chalice will bring a unique cultural sound.
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 Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, Broward County Cultural Division, the Jamaica Tourist Board, EnPro Industries, Tropical Financial Credit Union, The McFarlane Firm, Reese Vision Care, and many private individuals and local businesses that share the organization’s mission and goals.
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