Monday, March 30, 2009

Playing for Change

YouTube VideoJust had to share this.

Playing for Change is a group "dedicated to connecting the world through music by providing resources to musicians and their communities around the world." There was a recent documentary about the organization done and some of the video from that film is available on YouTube. Essentially, the group had artists work on songs from their specific locations and through the magic of multi-track recording were able to mix together these fabulous renditions. Take a look at this example of "Stand by Me".

In case you missed all the musicians who participated in this one song. I wrote them out for you. (A lot of these folks are street performers and don't have much of a web presence although, if you hunt you can find references to most of them. I linked to the ones who had web sites).
  • Roger Ridley (Santa Monica, CA)
  • Grandpa Elliott (New Orleans, LA)
  • Washboard Chaz (New Orleans, LA)
  • Clarence Bekker (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Twin Eagle Drum Group (Zuni, New Mexico)
  • Francois Viguie (Toulouse, France)
  • Cesar Pope (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Dimitri Dolganov (Moscow, Russia)
  • Roberto Luti (New Orleans, LA)
  • Geraldo & Dionisio (Caracas, Venezuela)
  • Junior Kissangwa Mbouta (The Congo)
  • Pokie Klass (Guguletu, South Africa)
  • Django Degen (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Sinamuva (Umiazi, South Africa)
  • Stefano Tomaselli (Pisa, Italy)
  • Vusi Mahlasela (Mamelodi, South Africa)
The film isn't yet available from Netflix but they have it listed with this description:
Filmed live on the streets and in the subways of Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York, this earnest documentary celebrates the often-ignored talent of American street musicians and captures the uniquely passionate nature of their performances. Bonus features include a tribute film to New Orleans street musicians and exclusive interviews with Robert M. Young and Grammy Award-winning blues artist Keb' Mo'.
An interview with Mark Johnson the co-director of the documentary is available through Bill Moyer. One interesting tid-bit, it took ten years to put together.

I was so moved by these songs I went ahead and pre-ordered the upcoming CD through Amazon. I can hardly wait to have it on my iPod.

[via Tangier Sound]

[Image: "Playing for Change logo": Captured from website:]

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