Playing For Change

Dec 6, 2008 by

Recently I saw a little thing on Bill Moyers about the Playing For Change Foundation. Their mission, “connecting the world through music by providing resources to musicians and their communities throughout the world.” This includes anything from supplies and educational programs to flat-out building facilities if needed. Talk about scope.

The Stand by Me video begins with Californian Roger Ridley singing (note the absence of headphones: everything and everyone else was overlayed on his initial track) and continues adding voices and instruments as it goes. American Indian drums, Russian strings, French tambourines, Italian sax, South African chorus and more… it all comes together in an amazing multi-layered track that belies the effort it must have taken to put together. This is what music is all about.

So yeah, OK, another charity people can feel good about when they throw their money into it’s kettle. Well do me one favor. For your Christmas present to me, visit their website, click enter, allow the pop-up window to open and then just watch the video for Stand By Me. It features New Orleanians Roberto Luti, Washboard Chaz and Grandpa Elliott. You know what a cynic I am, but this video just kicks my ass every time. It’s living proof that people can work together from great distances for the betterment of others. Even if all it does is make you smile, it’s worth it.

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