Playing for Change Live 2010

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“We need to make the world a better place. We have one vision, and we have One Love.”

– Mark Johnson, Founder of Playing for Change

Playing for Change, the multi-national band, has reunited to perform a series of shows in celebration of their latest recording, Playing for Change Live, to be released by Concord Music Group on June 15. The album/dvd, which documents last year’s triumphant tour, includes audio and video versions of the Playing for Change band, along with guests appearances from Toots Hibbert, Ziggy Marley and Keb Mo.

I’ve Got Dreams to Remember (featuring Toots Hibbert)

The musicians, all in one place, living together on the bus, playing in theaters and not on sidewalks, visiting radio and all the while being documented by Mark Johnson and his crew, created something on the tour that was transcendent for the fans. The rhythm section, powered by Peter Bunetta and Mohammed Alidu, with percussion from Mermans Kenkosenke, along with the master guitarist Louis Mhlanga, created a forceful backing band for the four singers in Playing for Change that got most of the crowds up and dancing throughout the shows. The next song, “Mado,” features South African singer Titi Tsira, Jason Tamba from Congo and the rest of the band en fuego, from about mid-set.


Playing for Change plays the song they are most famous for, “Stand By Me,” as well as the universal message songs “One Love” and “Don’t Worry/Be Happy,” on the album, but you can also hear how great they are as musicians on the track “Fela Ngaye,” which features a great solo from Louis Mhlanga that reminds me of Carlos Santana.

Fela Ngaye

And lucky for us, the band is reuniting for a series of shows in celebration of Playing for Change: Live’s imminent release on Tuesday June 15.

Playing for Change Tour Dates 2010

June 11 – Bearsville Theater, Woodstock NY
June 14 – Summerstage, New York NY
June 16 – The Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach CA
June 18 – Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Mendocino CA
June 20 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA

Please for European tour dates.

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