Playing for Change

Playing for Change

A multi-media charity art project, Playing for Change was created in 2004 by producer/engineers Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono. Hoping to break down musical and social barriers and promote a peaceful worldview, the duo traveled around the globe recording street musicians playing the same songs with the idea of creating a pastiche of the recordings. The project's first single, a cover of Ben E. King's classic "Stand by Me," featuring the Santa Monica street performer Roger Ridely, became a YouTube sensation. Since that time, Playing for Change has continued to release music and videos featuring

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Playing for Change Music Videos

Full Biography

A multi-media charity art project, Playing for Change was created in 2004 by producer/engineers Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono. Hoping to break down musical and social barriers and promote a peaceful worldview, the duo traveled around the globe recording street musicians playing the same songs with the idea of creating a pastiche of the recordings. The project's first single, a cover of Ben E. King's classic "Stand by Me," featuring the Santa Monica street performer Roger Ridely, became a YouTube sensation. Since that time, Playing for Change has continued to release music and videos featuring various musicians from different backgrounds. Featured along the way have been many lesser-known artists like New Orleans musician Grandpa Elliot Small, as well as such bigger names as guitarist Keb' Mo' and U2's Bono. In 2007, Johnson formed the non-profit Playing for Change Foundation to help give back to the various musicians and communities involved in the project. Then, in 2008, Johnson created the for-profit organization Timeless Media Group and partnered with the Concord Music Group to help fund and promote the work of Playing for Change. In 2009, Playing for Change released the CD/DVD Playing for Change: Songs Around the World. A second volume followed in 2010, as did the concert album Playing for Change Live.



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