Pop Filter Hot Pick: Playing for Change

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Monday February 20, 2012

From Pop City Media

Pop Filter Hot Pick: Playing for Change promotes world peace through music
By: Jennifer Barron

Still kicking yourself 43 years later for missing that legendary concert on a sprawling White Lake, New York farm? Born way too late to have been there? Either way, there’s a new breed of globally minded musicians who have come together to promote peace, love and understanding via the multimedia movement Playing for Change.

Launched with the lofty goal of using music to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music, the international initiative was founded in 2004 by American music producer Mark Johnson. Assembling a team of both professional and self-taught musicians in his mobile recording studio, Johnson and his collaborators traveled the world during the mid-2000s, making stops in New Orleans, Barcelona, South Africa, India, Nepal, the Middle East, and Ireland.

Exploring creative synergies between cultures, the project uses music to empower citizens to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people from different geographic, political, economic, spiritual, and ideological backgrounds.

On Weds., Feb. 29th, the project brings its Playing For Change Band—a worldwide family network of musicians—to the Byham Theater for one night of diverse and uplifting sounds. The ensemble’s talented lineup includes percussionist Mohammed Alidu (Northern Ghana), vocalist Clarence Bekker (Netherlands/Suriname), vocalist/harmonica player Grandpa Elliott Small (New Orleans), vocalist/percussionist Mermans Kenkosenki (DRC Congo), guitarist Jason Tamba (Kinshasa, the capital of DRC Congo), and vocalist Titi Tsira (Gugulethu, Western Cape).

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