The band composed of musicians from all over the world uniting to bring about positive change returns to North America for a fall run beginning in Canada in October.
Playing For Change has its roots in 2009 when founder / filmmaker Mark Johnson went on a quest to unite local and street musicians from different cultures. The result was a viral video – “Stand By Me” – which depicted musicians from various remote locales including the Himalayan Mountains, Native-American reservations and African villages. The video, which hooked more than 30 million YouTube viewers, led to a Top 10 CD/DVD release, Playing For Change: Songs Around The World, as well as a PBS documentary.
The Playing For Change lineup includes northern Ghana percussionist Mohammed Alidu, Netherlands/Suriname vocalist Clarence Bekker, New Orleans vocalist / harmonic player Grandpa Elliott, DRC Congo vocalist / percussionist Mermans Kenkosenki, DRC Congo guitarist Jason Tambla and South African vocalist Titi Tsiri. Joining the band is Senegalese guitarist Ilon Ba.
Playing For Change plans to live up to its name by directing one dollar from every ticket sold to its Playing For Change Foundation. The band is also urging fans to send a one page letter to firstname.lastname@example.org describing how they’ve brought about positive change in their communities. The band then plans to make special trips to select “changes’” homes, schools or wherever they may be. The band will also post the stories on its website.
The tour begins in Calgary at McEwan Hall Oct. 13; plays Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom Oct. 14 and the heads across the continent and southward for a gig in Atlanta at Center Stage Oct. 16.
Other stops include Birmingham, New Orleans, Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.
For more information, click here for the Playing For Change website.