This exceptional musical collaboration is part of a global effort to inspire peace through music and to connect diverse musicians worldwide. How many times have you been walking down the street or through a bus, subway or train station and heard music that pulled your mind out of your every day thoughts and made you stop and listen?
While there are millions of people who hear this kind of music every day and are lucky enough to have it change their lives for a minute or two, about 10 years ago recording engineer and producer Mark Johnson heard two monks in a New York City subway station and it changed his life forever. As the moment on the subway platform marinated in his head, Johnson realized that most of the high end equipment that he had access to in the recording studios he worked in was portable.
Clarence Bekker, a Dutch musician who is featured in the video, echoed Johnson’s feelings when The Marquee caught up with him by phone from Washington, D.C. As the project progressed and Johnson continued to show the work in progress to musician after musician, he realized that not a single person had turned down his offer to participate. Almost as soon as the video hit the internet in November of 2008 it became a viral sensation, accumulating more than 30 million views to date.

Playing for Change serves as a reminder to the world that music holds a very special power that transcends race, religion, language, and socio-economic status.
The Marquee strives to be the Farmer’s Almanac of the regional music scene — providing readers with facts, tid-bits, in-depth feature stories and a Calendar section that is unparalleled on Colorado’s Front Range, covering every live music venue from large venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre to small clubs and coffee shops.
It might have been a mournful sax tune, deft fingers plucking out a familiar melody on the strings of a nylon guitar, or a kid drumming on the bottom of a plaster bucket, but whatever it was, it caught your ear for one reason — because it was unusually good. It wasn’t long before he had put together a mobile recording studio and made the decision that he would set out on a globe trekking adventure with the intent to record musicians that he encountered along the way. King song “Stand By Me” and as he set about trying to recruit musicians to participate in the project he realized that the vision he had in his mind was not one that others grasped easily. This gave Johnson another idea and from the long list of musicians he had come in contact with over the course of his travels, Johnson assembled a 10 person live band that embodies the spirit of the Playing for Change mission. It is one of the few things that we have in common on this planet and Mark Johnson’s vision has given us the rare opportunity to look through a window into a world where peace through music is more than a slogan, it is a reality.

On this day I saw about 200 people just stop and honestly nobody got on the train and everybody was just watching these monks,” Johnson told The Marquee during a recent interview on the eve of the first date of the first Playing for Change tour.
I got the idea that he was going around connecting musicians together and I could imagine a documentary of all these musicians together, but when I saw the first footage of ‘Stand By Me’ it was like nothing I had ever come close to thinking about. What is truly amazing is that world is our own and Johnson simply gave us the lens to see it through. Then I got on the train and I went to the studio and it occurred to me that the best music I ever heard in my life was on the way to the studio and not in the studio.

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Comments to «Playing for change in brazil»

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