Somerset Academy Central Miramar students beat drums to a samba beat as Grammy-nominated musician Willie Stewart stood in front of the 50 youngsters, bobbing his head and keeping the tempo on the drums.
The students, ages 13-17, are undergoing 14 weeks of training for Rhythms of Africa/Music Around the World, a two-show event set for Jan. 11 at the Miramar Cultural Center. The venue hosted the inaugural Rhythms of Africa show four years ago.
“Miramar is where we started,” Stewart said. “… We’re giving back to the community.”
Practices are designed like full dress rehearsals, which takes Stewart’s team 90 minutes to set up in the school’s gym.
“The children are really fantastic,” Stewart said. “They’ve learned fast. This will be a show to remember.”
The teens, most of whom didn’t have any prior formal musical training, will play 11 African, Latin and other beats with 20 …