Playing For Change headed to Massachusetts

, Staff

Playing For Change, the group of musicians from around the world that quickly became a YouTube sensation, are back on the road for another tour of the United States. The group will play a pair of shows in Massachusetts next month.

On Friday, March 2, Playing For Change will perform at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center. Tickets for the concert are now on sale the venue’s box office and website for $36 and $46. The following night, the group will perform at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury. Tickets for the show are now on sale through the venue’s website and box office for $25.

The group is touring in support of their latest album, PFC 2: Songs Around The World. Released last May, the sophomore release follows 2009’s Playing For Change: Songs Around The World. The CD/DVD set features original songs written for the album, as well as reinterpretations of internationally loved recordings including Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”, Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”. The video for “Higher Ground” is streaming below.

Playing For Change was founded by Mark Johnson, an American music producer who assembled a team in a mobile recording studio and traveled with them around the world in the early 2000’s searching for musical inspirations and ties between cultures. The project found new life in 2008 when the nonprofit Playing For Change Foundation established Timeless Media, a joint venture with the for-profit Concord Music Group, in order to support ongoing media projects. The group’s now ubiquitous “Stand By Me” video has been viewed on the internet more than 40 million times.

The Playing For Change band lineup includes vocalist Clarence Bekker (Netherlands/Suriname), vocals/harmonica Grandpa Elliott (New Orleans), vocals/percussionist Mermans Mosengo (DRC Congo), guitarist Louis Mhlanga (Harare, Zimbabwe),guitarist Jason Tamba (Kinshasa, the capital of DRC Congo), vocalist Titi Tsira (Gugulethu, African township in the Western Cape), guitarist Renard Poché (New Orleans, LA), and keyboardist Tom Canning (Rochester, NY).

Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Playing For Change Foundation, which works toward building, maintaining and connecting music schools across the globe. The Foundation’s first project, the Ntonga Music School in South Africa, opened in 2009. In addition, The Foundation has opened three music schools in Nepal as well as schools in Ghana, Mali and Rwanda, with more in the planning stages.

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