Article Contributed by
Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, Inc.
Infinity Visual and Performing Arts welcomes two new instructors! Ron Williams (Preach Freedom) and Milissa Williams are joining the Infinity Team as private lesson instructors, and will also be teaming up to direct an Infinity Cultural Drum and Dance program and ensemble. The new program will explore creative expression, drum techniques, cultural aspects of rhythm and movement, and more!
Infinity’s Executive Director, Shane Hawkins, says, “We are so thrilled to expand our percussion and dance program this year to explore world music, cultural rhythm, empowerment through drumming, and more. Over the years we have acquired a large selection of unique cultural drums and percussion instruments, and we cannot wait to see them incorporated in these new classes. Preach and Milissa have so many excellent ideas and they mesh so well with our youth development philosophy and mission. To have these two educators join our team and community still seems surreal. 2016 is going to be pretty amazing, we are excited and eager to watch it all happen!”
In addition to Infinity Drum and Dance, Infinity will be adding a cultural drum performance ensemble, cultural art classes, empowerment through drumming, and funk and afrobeat to program offerings.
Ron Williams (Preach Freedom) – Hand Drum, Drum & Dance Ensemble, Workshops
Ron Williams (Preach Freedom) is an International recording artist, singer/songwriter, musician, and actor with over 20 years of experience studying with Master Drummers from Senegal, Ghana, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Peru, and Cuba. Preach has facilitated workshops and drum circles across the country.
Preach co-founded the musical ensemble, One World Tribe, recording 3 albums. He toured extensively with International touring and recording group Rusted Root, recording 2 albums, and was a featured vocalists on Grammy winner, drummer, and producer Poogie Bell’s album, “Sugatop”. In 2012 he played percussion on Grammy winner Alex Bugnon’s critically acclaimed album, “Harlem”.
In 2013 Preach returned to Buffalo, NY and continued acting with the Ujima theater company and touring with his group, “Connect”. In 2015 he founded, and currently conducts, the Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra and continues to share the joy of drumming with children and adults alike.
Milissa Williams – Art, Dance, Theater, Drum & Dance Ensemble, Workshops
Milissa Williams was born and raised in Queens, NY and is a graduate of the University at Buffalo with a BA in Psychology. Milissa also holds an AAS in Graphic Design. She has worked for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Panara Theater as an Assistant Costume Designer and Special Effects Makeup Artist. Milissa attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and studied both Graphic Design and Textile Surface Design. She gained experience with the 1993 production of the, “Miser” and the 1994 production of, “Cinderella”. Additional professional theatrical experiences include: Wardrobe assistant with Studio Arena’s Shakespeare in the Park in Buffalo, NY, Costume Designer for RAPA’s East End Theater in Rochester,NY and productions of, “Dreamgirls” and ,”Chicago” in 2011. Milissa is also an acrylic painter and has displayed her work at events and galleries, including the Varro Gallery in Erie, PA, and the Buffalo Arts Studios Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Milissa has been dancing for 37 years. She was a member of the African American Dance Ensemble, an African Contemporary Dance Company under the direction of Janet Reed and Marvin Askew within the Buffalo Inner City Ballet Studio. For 9 years she was a member of Le Touba en Dom Fal, A traditional African Dance Troupe which was directed by Raymond Sylla, Allasane Sarr, M’baye Rama Dgiane, Emile Latimer, Robin Hibberts, and Yossou Lo, from whom she studied traditional West African Movement and Dances and performed concerts, events, and festivals in the WNY and PA area.
Her ambition as a dance instructor began in 2003 at the Clark Academy where she continues to provide, promote, and encourage students of all ages with her traditional and contemporary approach to movement. Milissa also teaches African Contemporary Movements which consists of various techniques and styles of movement from the Caribbean to West Africa. In 2004, Milissa began working along side her husband (Ron Williams) as part of a “One World Tribe” educational team in Erie, PA and worked as teaching artists for Erie Arts and Culture’s Art in Action program, infusing the arts with core curriculum standards throughout schools in the state of Pennsylvania.
For more information about Infinity, to register for Infinity Drum and Dance, or to schedule lessons with Preach or Milissa, please visit www.infinityperformingarts.org.