Anyone looking to fill their iPod with some new tunes need look no further than Playing for Change, a group of talented musicians from around the globe. Playing for Change started over ten years ago when a group of documentary filmmakers wanted to create a film that captured the free-spirited nature of music by featuring street artists with incredible talent.
The crew traveled around the United States and beyond, seeking passionate musicians with outstanding vocal ability. They struck gold with wonderful singers like Roger Ridley of California, Grandpa Elliot of New Orleans, Clarence Bekker of Amsterdam, Junior Mbouta of the Congo, and Vuhi Mahlasela of South Africa. Along with other musicians from all over the world, the group recorded the old favorite "Stand by Me", which has since racked up over 40 million hits on YouTube.
The producers of the documentary were struck, not only by the wonderful talent they found, but by how impoverished many of the participants were. They found that none of them wallowed in despair due to their circumstances; in fact, they were warm, generous, courageous, and interconnected through their love of music. Soon after, the Playing for Change Foundation was created to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive a music education would have the opportunity to do so. They seek to provide a safe, happy place for children to expand upon their natural gifts and allow them to express themselves. Playing for Change has locations worldwide and seeks to help those within extreme poverty in third world nations. They go on tour throughout the US and Canada this year. Find out there schedule here.