I first came across this music video about two years ago and it has since become one of my favorites of all time. It is a cover of “Stand By Me”, the Ben E. King classic (one of the greatest songs ever written in my opinion), from the award-winning documentary, “Playing For Change: Peace Through Music”.
The Playing for Change project is the brainstorm of Mark Johnson and Playing for Change Foundation Executive Director, Whitney Kroenke. Mark’s idea was to travel around the United States with a mobile recording studio and capture musical moments from street performers across America. As Johnson and Kroenke traveled, they realized how extraordinary it would be connect all of those talented musicians to one another. They came up with the idea of starting a song in one location, then taking the partially completed song and the recording studio on to the next musician, until the song was complete.
Through this process, they discovered how music transcends cultural barriers.
As they continued to travel, it became apparent that their project was much bigger than any one country and so they decided to continue around the world, meeting and recording new musicians internationally, and continuing to grow their songs along the way.
Since its introduction, Playing for Change has received international acclaim from New York to Africa, to Brazil, to India and beyond. The street performers in their videos have appeared on shows like The Tonight Show and they’ve raised many thousands of dollars for instruments, musical schools and programs benefitting students in locations around the globe. Most recently, Yoko Ono assisted by supporting Playing for Change with the recording of the song, “Imagine” that also included video of John Lennon himself.
Sign up at www.playingforchange.com or www.playingforchange.org for updates, exclusive content and to join the movement to help build schools, connect students and inspire communities in need through music. You’ll also find the full library of music videos for Playing for Change which you can purchase on DVD. Make sure to check out another one of my favorites, “Don’t Worry”.