Playing For Change Tour PBS Doc Airs This Month


Playing For Change
After a series of shows that generated rave reviews in Los Angeles, New Orleans and the U.K., it was announced that Playing For Change will launch a national concert tour. Kicking off October 20 at The Birchmere in Washington, DC, the fall tour will bring the Playing For Change movement to over 20 cities nationwide. The Playing For Change band features musicians from around the globe, including New Orleans-based blues singer Grandpa Elliott and soul singer Clarence Bekker from Amsterdam.

Momentum has continued to build for the project as founder Mark Johnson and the musicians of Playing For Change were named "Persons of the Week" on ABC's World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson. Recently, the Playing For Change band performed a thunderous set headlining the world stage at England's Glastonbury Festival, and playing before a rapturous audience at Tipitina's, New Orleans' landmark concert hall. In addition, the PFC Band has performed on NBC's The Tonight Show twice within the last four months with more television appearances scheduled soon.

Grammy-winning producer/engineer/filmmaker Mark Johnson founded Playing For Change on the simple idea that the world can be connected through music. Starting in Santa Monica, California, Mark captured a performance of "Stand By Me" by legendary street blues singer Roger Ridley, then he took the show on the road. In New Orleans, he put headphones on Grandpa Elliott, who harmonized with Ridley's soulful rendition of the song. Using innovative mobile technology and travelling the world, they filmed and recorded more than 100 musicians, largely outdoors, in parks, plazas and promenades, in doorways, on cobblestone streets and amid hilly pueblos. Each captured performance created a new mix in which essentially the artists are all performing together, albeit hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

Playing For Change has been one of 2009's most unlikely and startling cultural phenomenons. This remarkable and unpredicted popular response has been driven by tens of millions of video hits, countless blogs and pure viral communication between fans and followers. The project's deep emotional resonance, combined with the muscle of the internet and word-of-mouth has struck a profoundly enduring chord world-wide.

The story of hope, struggle, perseverance and joy, Playing For Change: Peace Through Music is the documentary of this unparalleled international musical collaboration and its remarkable power of redemption. It will air nationally as part of special programming airing on PBS Stations beginning August 2009 (check local listings).

Playing For Change Tour Dates:
10/20/09 Tue Birchmere Alexandria, VA
10/22/09 Thu Orpheum Theatre Boston, MA
10/23/09 Fri Calvin Theater Northampton, MA
10/24/09 Sat Empire Center At the Egg Albany, NY
10/25/09 Sun Town Hall New York, NY
10/27/09 Tue Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA
10/29/09 Thu Rams Head On Stage Annapolis, MD
10/30/09 Fri Masonic Auditorium Cleveland, OH
10/31/09 Sat Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON
11/02/09 Mon The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
11/03/09 Tue Park West Chicago, IL
11/04/09 Wed Pabst Theater Milwaukee, WI
11/06/09 Fri The O'Shaughnessy St. Paul, MN
11/07/09 Sat Uptown Theater Kansas City, MO
11/09/09 Mon Lensic Performing Arts Center Santa Fe, NM
11/12/09 Thu Mesa Arts Center - Ikeda Theater Mesa, AZ
11/13/09 Fri Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA
11/15/09 Sun The Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco, CA
11/17/09 Tue Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
11/18/09 Wed Moore Theatre Seattle, WA
11/19/09 Thu Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, BC

[Published on: 8/17/09]

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