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Playing for Change
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On the heels of their recently completed summer run, the Playing For Change band returns to North America this fall for a national tour which kicks off October 13th, at McEwan Hall in Calgary. The LA Weekly said recently of their can’t miss live performances “no matter how many great gigs we get to experience, the magic moment when a roomful of strangers forms a transcendent bond in music and movement never fails to excite. It is especially inspiring when this bliss is shared with a mass of varied ages, cultures and backgrounds, as it is with global groovers Playing For Change.” The fall tour encompasses over 25 shows in major cities nationwide. The group will donate $1.00 of every ticket purchased to the Playing For Change Foundation.

Their 2010 fall tour is highlighted by the addition of famed Senegalese guitarist Ilon Ba (Baaba Maal) to the stellar Playing For Change band which includes percussionist Mohammed Alidu (Northern Ghana), vocalist Clarence Bekker (Netherlands/Suriname), vocals/harmonica Grandpa Elliott (New Orleans), vocals/percussionist Mermans Kenkosenki (DRC Congo), guitarist Jason Tamba (Kinshasa, the capital of DRC Congo) and vocalist Titi Tsira (Gugulethu, African township in the Western Cape). In addition, PFC is currently in the midst of planning an extensive international tour in 2011, details and confirmed dates will be announced in the near future.

In keeping with the project’s spirit of global reconciliation and healing, fans that live along the tour’s route are encouraged to send a one page letter to sharing their stories describing how they have positively contributed to their local community. The PFC band will make special house calls to select “changers’” homes, schools, hospitals (wherever they may be) and their stories will be featured on

The Playing For Change story took flight in 2009 when founder and filmmaker Mark Johnson brought together over 100 disparate musical artists from around the globe in his quest to unite local and street musicians from far-ranging cultures. With a mobile recording studio, Johnson’s journeys took to him to the Himalayan Mountains, African villages and native Indian reservations to create the now famous Playing For Change viral video “Stand By Me.” With over 30 million YouTube views, the video spawned a Top 10 CD/DVD set released by the Concord Music Group, Playing For Change: Songs Around the World, and a PBS documentary.

Following the unprecedented success of Songs Around the World, the PFC band, featuring many of the ‘Around The World’ musicians who appeared in the videos including Grandpa Elliott and Clarence Bekker, embarked on their first global tour in 2009 and performed on some of the world’s most famous stages including Glastonbury Festival in the UK, Town Hall in New York and Club Nokia in Los Angeles. The unfolding phenomenon was captured in a live concert CD/DVD and behind-the-scenes tour documentary, Playing for Change Live, which was released this past June.

The Playing For Change Foundation is dedicated to connecting the world through music by providing resources to musicians and their communities around the world. The Foundation is driven by the fundamental belief that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music. With music schools and programs in Nepal, South Africa, Ghana, Mali and Rwanda, the Foundation is creating positive change through music education. Each school and program offers students the mentorship and guidance they need to grow and thrive, and provides a strong foundation for their future and the future of the community they live in.

Playing for Change
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