Playing for Change redefines ‘global music’

Music is often described as “the universal language.”

Playing for Change is using that language to create positive social change in communities around the world.

The brainchild of music producer Mark Johnson, Playing for Change raises money for schools in Africa and Nepal to teach music to students. Johnson has spread the word by creating compelling music videos that allow musicians all over the globe to work together on the same song.

Why raise money for music education? The PfC website puts it this way:

Many of the regions the Playing For Change Foundation works within suffer from extreme poverty, lack of basic resources, limited medical care and educational resources, past conflicts and genocide, unstable governments, and a host of infectious diseases.

Thanks to the amazing people we have met on our journey- people in the poorest towns and villages who still manage to find hope in the midst of their daily struggles- we believe now more than ever in the resiliency of the human spirit, and in music’s ability to transform a dire situation into a hopeful one.

On Monday, January 23 Mark Johnson will introduce a video documentary about the Foundation, and afterward I’ll interview him at greater length about projects his foundation has undertaken. The event starts at 6:30pm in MPR’s UBS Forum, and is free, but seats must reserved in advance. You can find out more here.

Interested in seeing some of Playing for Change’s musicians perform live? They’ll be on tour at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts on February 12.

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