October 13, 2009

Playing For Change Creates Music and Hope. ~ via Claire Flannery

I love music, and I especially love music for a greater cause. Playing For Change, is just that. The brainchild of Mark Johnson, Playing For Change began in 2007, as a multimedia movement

“inspired to create, connect and bring peace to the world through music.” -Playing for Change

Quite the lofty statement. Yet since its conception, the foundation has exploded all over the world and is making its mark country by country.

Using innovative mobile technology, the Playing for Change crew filmed and recorded more than 100 musicians, largely outdoors, in parks, plazas, cobblestone streets and amid hilly pueblos. The project debuted at #10 on the Billboard Pop Charts at the end of April and has sold over 100,000 copies since then in the US alone. With the release of the popular video “Stand By Me”, featuring the Playing For Change band, the project become a global phenomenon with over 20 million views on You Tube, making it the #1 rated video of all time. Playing For Change also headlined the Glastonbury Music Festival this year, performed on the The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and their film, “Playing for Change: Peace through Music” aired nationally on PBS this past August, with the DVD released in September. Impressive, I know.

But this world-traveling musical collective/collaboration aren’t just topping charts and winning hearts. The Playing For Change Foundation created in 2008, with Timeless Media and Concord Music Group work to bring music to poverty stricken regions around the world. With this collaboration of musicians and artists, developing villages and towns around the world have the opportunity to make music and art in regions that need inspiration and hope the most. They most recently built a music and dance school in a small town in Ghana. And they show no signs of slowing down.

The goals of Playing For Change, aren’t being fulfilled by just those directly affiliated with it. Now anyone can help by following the Playing For Change Movement, where people spread the message of PFC, host screenings and benefit concerts for the greater cause of spreading good tunes, love, art and peace to those who need it most. Keep jamming!

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