Playing for Change

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Playing for Change is a multimedia music project, created by the American producer and sound engineer Mark Johnson with his Timeless Media Group, that seeks to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. Playing For Change also created a separate non-profit organization called the Playing For Change Foundation, which builds music schools for children around the world.

Origin[edit]

Playing For Change was born in 2002 as a shared vision between co-founders, Mark Johnson, Raan Williams and Whitney Kroenke, to hit the streets of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the people. Producers Johnson and Enzo Buono traveled around the world to places including New Orleans, Barcelona, South Africa, India, Nepal, the Middle East and Ireland. Using mobile recording equipment, the duo recorded local musicians performing the same song, interpreted in their own style. Among the artists participating or openly involved in the project are Vusi Mahlasela, Louis Mhlanga, Clarence Bekker, David Guido Pietroni, Tal Ben Ari (Tula), Bono, Keb' Mo', David Broza, Manu Chao, Grandpa Elliott, Keith Richards, Toots Hibbert from Toots & the Maytals, Taj Mahal and Stephen Marley. This resulted in the award-winning documentary A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.

In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley (now deceased) singing "Stand By Me." [1] Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing "Stand By Me" as a Song Around The World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, "With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?" Roger replied, "Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people." Ever since that day, the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around The World, and building a global family.

Creating Songs Around The World inspired the PFC crew to unite many of the greatest musicians they met throughout their journey through the creation of the Playing For Change Band. These musicians come from many different countries and cultures, but through music they speak the same language. The PFC Band is now touring the world and spreading the message of love and hope to audiences everywhere.

The founders of Playing For Change created the Playing For Change Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world, and creating hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.

Success[edit]

The project's "Stand by Me" video is widely popular online, with more than 85 million hits on YouTube as of March 2016.[2]

Playing For Change Foundation[edit]

The Playing for Change Foundation is a non-profit organization 501(c)3, dedicated to creating and supporting music schools, principally in developing countries. Three music schools and a total of twelve music programs have been created since 2008:

In 2011, the Playing For Change Foundation established an annual Playing For Change Day.[3] The goal of Playing For Change Day is to "unite a global community through the power of music to affect positive social change".[3] In 2012, the PFC Day consisted of over 330 events across 52 countries and helped raise over $150,000 for the Playing For Change Foundation, and in 2014, PFC Day saw over 400 events in 60 countries.[3] It is held on the Saturday nearest the United Nations' International Day of Peace, which takes place each year on Sept. 21. In 2015, Playing for Change Day was celebrated on September 19. The sixth-annual Playing for Change Day will be September 24, 2016.[3]

In 2013, the Foundation introduced the Stand by Me Scholarship program, allowing people to sponsor a child to learn music for an entire year. Scholarships are need-based and are given to children who could not participate otherwise. Donors can either make a one-time gift to fund a student, or set up monthly contributions. Click here to make a donation and support music education for children worldwide.

Performers[edit]

"Stand by Me"
(Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller / Ben E. King)
United States Roger Ridley: vocals, acoustic guitar
Netherlands Clarence Bekker: vocals
United States Grandpa Elliott: vocals, harmonica
South Africa Vusi Mahlasela: vocals
South Africa Sinamuva: choir vocals
South Africa Bhekani Memela: choir arrangement
United States Washboard Chas: washboard
United States Twin Eagle Drum Group: drum
Democratic Republic of the Congo Junior Kissangwa Mbouta: drums
France Django "Bambolino" Degen: congas
France François Viguié: pandeiro
Brazil Cesar Pope: cavaquinho
Russia Dimitri Dolgonov: cello
Italy Roberto Luti: National guitar
Venezuela Geraldo Osal "el Poeta": tres
Venezuela Dionisio Lopez: electric bass
South Africa Pokei Klaas: upright bass
United States Reggie McBride: upright bass
Italy Stefano Tomaselli: alto sax
"One Love"
(Bob Marley)
United States Keb' Mo': vocals
Democratic Republic of the Congo Mermens Kenkosenki: vocals
France Manu Chao: Guitar and Vocals
Israel Tal Ben Ari "Tula": vocals
South Africa Vusi Mahlasela: vocals
South Africa Sinamuva: choir vocals
South Africa Bhekani Memela: choir arrangement
South Africa Martin Machapa: vocals, choir arrangement
India Tenzin Jamyang: vocals
India Tenzin Jigme: vocals
India Tenzin Ingsel: vocals
India Vinaya, Saindhavi and Shruti: vocals
Italy Roberto Luti: National guitar
South Africa Menyatso Nathole: electric guitar
South Africa Gabriel Thobeiane: congas
United States Clayton Gibb: banjo
Nepal Surendra Shrestha: tablas
Democratic Republic of the Congo Junior Kissangwa Mbouta: drums
Nepal William Aura: electric bass
Zimbabwe Louis Mhlanga: guitar
Nepal Tara Bir Singh Tuladhar: sitar
India Venkat: shaker
India Rajhesh Vaidhya: veena
"War" / "No More Trouble"
(Carlton Barrett / Allen Cole / Bob Marley)
Ghana Rocky Dawuni: vocals
Republic of Ireland Bono: vocals
Democratic Republic of the Congo Mermens Kenkosenki: vocals
Democratic Republic of the Congo Jason Tamba: vocals, guitar
India Vinaya, Saindhavi and Shruti: vocals
Jamaica Bob Marley: vocals
United Kingdom The Omagh Community Youth Choir: vocals
United Kingdom Daryl J. Simpson: choir director
United States Kevin Moor II: drums
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tshotsho Fikisi: congas
Democratic Republic of the Congo Biziko: djembe
Republic of Ireland Cathy Jordan: bodhran
Israel David Broza: guitar
Zimbabwe Louis Mhlanga: guitar
South Africa Jimi Indi Phiri: electric bass
Israel Radwin Nazar: violin
Israel Ramzi Bishara: darbuka
India Punya Srinivas: veena
India Saroja: dilruba
India Venkat: tablas and shaker
"Biko"
(Peter Gabriel)
Ghana Rocky Dawuni: vocals
United States Keb' Mo': vocals, electric/acoustic guitar
Republic of Ireland Cathy Jordan: vocals, bodhran
Republic of Ireland The Omagh Community Youth Choir: vocals
United Kingdom Daryl J. Simpson: choir director
Ghana Nana Ama: vocals
Ghana Margaret Gbindey: vocals
Ghana Belinda Darko: vocals
India Vinaya, Saindhavi and Krithikaa: vocals
Italy Roberto Luti: National guitar
Republic of Ireland Liam O Maonlai: vocals, didgeridoo
India Kamalakar: flute
India Venkat: tablas
Republic of Ireland Michael Holmes: bouzouki
Republic of Ireland Shane Mitchell: accordion
Republic of Ireland Brian McDonagh: mandola
"Don't Worry"
(Pierre Minetti)
France Pierre Minetti: vocals, guitar
Netherlands Clarence Bekker: vocals
Israel Tal Ben Ari "Tula": vocals
South Africa Sinamuva: choir vocals
South Africa Bhekani Memela: choir arrangement
Democratic Republic of the Congo Junior Kissangwa Mbouta: drums
Nepal Dinesh Sunam: vocals
India Venkat: tavil drums
United States Washboard Chaz: washboard
France Django "Bambolino" Degen: triangle
United States Grandpa Elliott: harmonica
India Rajhesh Vaidhya: veena
India Tenzin Jigme: electric guitar
"Talkin' Bout A Revolution"
(Tracy Chapman)
Democratic Republic of the Congo Mermens Kenkosenki: vocals
Democratic Republic of the Congo Jason Tamba: vocals, guitar
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tshotsho Fikisi: congas
"Better Man"
(Kevin Moore / Anders Osborne)
United States Keb' Mo': vocals, dobro
United States Valeria Pinkston: backup vocals
United States Kristle Murden: backup vocals
United States Alexandra Brown: backup vocals
United States Reggie McBride: backup vocals, electric bass
United States Jeff Paris: backup vocals, guitar
United States Les Faulkner: backup vocals, drums
United States Clayton Gibb: banjo
United States Poncho Sanchez: congas
"Chanda Mama"
(Ananda Giri / Enzo Buono)
Israel Tal Ben Ari "Tula": vocals
Argentina Noel Schajris: vocals
South Africa Sinamuva: choir vocals
South Africa Bhekani Memela: choir arrangement
India Vinaya, Saindhavi and Shruti: vocals
Argentina Enzo Buono: guitar
Argentina Marcello "Gaucho": charango
Argentina Santiago Maggi: upright bass
France Damien Assertes: accordion
South Africa Sibongiseni Mbanjwa: violin
Portugal Paulo Morais: pandeiro
Italy Roberto Luti: National guitar
Zimbabwe Louis Mhlanga: guitar
Italy Stefano Tomaselli: alto sax
Democratic Republic of the Congo Junior Kissangwa Mbouta: drums
Cuba Reinaldo Elosegui: guiro
"Love Rescue Me"
(U2 / Bob Dylan)
United Kingdom Daryl J. Simpson: choir director, piano
United Kingdom Brian McNamee: guitar
United Kingdom The Omagh Community Youth Choir:
"A Change Is Gonna Come"
(Sam Cooke)
Netherlands Clarence Bekker: vocals
United States Grandpa Elliott: vocals, harmonica
Zimbabwe Louis Mhlanga: electric guitar
United States Peter Bunetta: drums
United States Reggie McBride: electric bass
Ghana Mohammed Alidu: djembe
"Imagine"
(John Lennon)
Argentina Cheche Alara: keyboard
Netherlands Clarence Bekker: vocals
Brazil Fernando Vidal: electric guitar
Brazil Reinaldo Popo: guitar
Brazil Binho: drums
Japan Yu Hatakeyama: drums
United States James Gadson: drums
Argentina Noel Schajris: vocals
India Rajhesh Vaidhya: Veena
Brazil Pretinho da Serrinha: tambourine
India R. Selvaraj: cello
India Gingger Shankar: violin
Nigeria Ijeoma Njaka: vocals
Nepal Tintale Village Teaching Center: vocals
Mali Ecole de Musique de Kirina: vocals
United States Grandpa Elliott: harmonica
Nepal Rubin Shrestha: flute
United States Tamika McClellan: vocals
Nepal Raju Maharjan: drums
Brazil Cicinho De Assis: accordion
Ghana Bizung School of Music and Dance: vocals and drums
United Kingdom John Lennon: vocals
South Africa Ntonga Music School: drums
"La bamba"
(Los Lobos)
Mexico Los Lobos: Vocals and guitar
Mexico Tlen Huicani: Guitars
Mexico Francisco Ibarra: Accordion
Mexico Alberto Manuel De La Rosa: Harp
Mexico Carlos Rodriguez: Guitar
Mexico La Marisoul: Vocals
Cuba Papa Orbe Ortiz: Guitar
Australia Salvador Persico: Drum
Argentina Andrés Calamaro: Vocals and Guitar
Colombia Pablo Correa: Drum kit
Argentina Mariano Dominguez: Guitar
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kila: Guitar
Serbia Nikola Petakovic: Guitar
Democratic Republic of the Congo Baby-Black-Ndombe: Vocals
Mali Bassekou Kouyate: Ngoni

References[edit]

External links[edit]