Willie Stewart is the former drummer with the Third World band, musical director, music teacher, percussionist, songwriter, music technologist, programmer, music Instructor and music director.
Willie Stewart is a prolific musician and music director. Born in England to Jamaican parents, the family moved to Jamaica when Willie was a young boy.
His love of music lead to an illustrious career that has included being a member of the popular band Inner Circle, touring with Byron Lee & the Dragonaires as their youngest member, and 23 years as a director and member of the internationally known band Third World. During that time Third World produced 13 albums of which 5 received Grammy nominations.
Willie has recorded and performed with such renowned artists as Stevie Wonder and Eddy Grant, performed live with Carlos Santana and Bob Marley. Over the years other notable performances included sharing the same stage bill with Quincy Jones, Sting, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams and U2.
Third World’s unique rhythms provide the lively music for Sebastian’s Caribbean Jamboree, a Walt Disney
World video, featuring the little Mermaid’s Sebastian. Willie has appeared in numerous videos, and the Third World movie/documentary ‘Prisoner in the Street.’
Willie co-produced, coordinated and organized a twelve-hour concert in Jamaica when President Nelson Mandela came for an official visit. Performed as drummer for Eddy Grant’s Frontline Orchestra in ‘Millennium 2000′, which was broadcast live to 2.5 billion people via both the BBC and ABC from the island of Tobago.
Willie and his fellow Third World band members’ strong humanitarian beliefs, have earned them many awards, including the United Nations ‘Peace Medal’ Two NAACP Image Awards nominations and The Diamond Award of Washington, DC. When Amnesty International called musicians to perform in Giant Stadium before a live audience of 100,000 and an MTV estimated audience of 26 million viewers Willie was there performing for human rights!
As Jamaica’s most successful act next to Bob Marley they became known as ‘Reggae Ambassadors!’ Recently he received The Stellar Award given by Partners for Youth and African American Achievers Award – Nominee Special Recognition. He was a recipient of the Jamaica Diaspora Honors 2012 presented by the Consulate General of Jamaica, Miami. ICABA saluted Willie Stewart as one of the 2012 South Florida 100 most accomplished Caribbean Americans He was also featured in the August 2012 issue of Modern Drummer Magazine.
Willie has taken his role as ambassador further with a sincere mission to share his knowledge and experience with people of all ages. His commitment to working with children, youth, and teachers in ways that can uplift, unite motivate, empower, and inspire has lead to the creation of a variety of performances and workshops, which he calls Solutions in Music. Workshop topics address issues of history, culture, stress reduction, and team building. At the same time they are creative, educational, and versatile, and always entertaining: participants of all ages are motivated by the infectious enthusiasm of this world-class entertainer.
Willie Stewart has received overwhelming positive praise and enthusiasm for the variety of programs offered by Solutions in Music. Participants have included corporate America, schools, universities, and communities around the globe. PBS WLRN, NBC, CBS and ABC local morning shows and news, BECON Miami Herald, Broward Herald, Sun-Sentinel has featured and covered these workshops as well as Radio.
Conscious of his social responsibility, Willie gives back to the community in ways that amplify the development of children and families. As co-founder and chairman of the non-profit Embrace Music Foundation, he continues to build his musical legacy in ways that restore, preserve, and fortify the impact of music on schools and within communities. His signature Rhythms of Africa concerts play to wide acclaim as he takes his message worldwide.
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