Playing for Change, according to their website “is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music.” It began in 2002 when its co-founders, Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke toured the street of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras looking for “inspiration and the heartbeat of the people.” They found it, which resulted in the award-winning documentatry, “A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.”
Johnson traveled the world, recording such classics as “Stand by Me,” featuring Roger Ridley on vocals, a street musician. He’s subsequently done songs by Bob Marley (“One Love,” “Stand Up for Your Rights”) Stevie Wonder, and others. The Playing for Change Foundation provides facilities, supplies, and educational programs for musicians around the world, including the Stand by Me Scholarship Program. They boast programs in Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Mali, Thailand, and Nepal. If you can afford to, stop at their website and make a donation.
If not, sit back and enjoy a few videos, and tell your friends about them. (See if you can spot Keith Richards, Stephen Marley, Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals, Bob Marley, Sara Bareilles, and Los Lobos.)
And, in case you thought La Bamba was born with and died with the late, great, Ritchie Valens, piensa otra vez: