Thursday, February 2, 2012

Playing for Change: The Band at The Byham


Today's date:
February 1, 2012

Veronica Corpuz
(412) 471-6082

Diana Roth
(412) 471-8717

Playing for Change: The Band

Wednesday, February 29, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street

As a part of its international multimedia project that works to find ways to use the power of music as a unifying force around the world, Playing For Change: The Band will be performing on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, at the Byham Theater, at 7:30 PM. The concert is a part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents Series and presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Playing For Change was founded by Mark Johnson, an American music producer who assembled a team in a mobile recording studio and travelled with them around the world in the early 2000s 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. Their debut CD/DVD set Songs Around the World was released in 2009 and reached #10 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The group released its second CD, Songs Around the World, Part 2 in 2011.

Songs Around the World was particularly inspired by a performance of “Stand By Me” by the late street performer Roger Ridley in Santa Monica, California. On the album’s familiar tracks, largely unknown street artists such as Ridley or New Orleans street performer “Grandpa” Elliott Small are featured alongside music artists like Bono. Songs Around the World, Part 2 continues the musical journey with global inspirations. “The journey of this album takes us from a village in Mali to the favelas (slums) of Brazil, from New Orleans to India, Jamaica to Japan. We stopped in 15 countries and recorded more than 150 musicians,” said Johnson. “[Playing For Change is] a great showcase for just what incredible, thoroughly accessible popular music is being made worldwide.” – Variety

Additionally, the project has formed a band drawn from the worldwide family network of musicians. The Playing For Change band lineup includes percussionist Mohammed Alidu (Northern Ghana), vocalist Clarence Bekker (Netherlands/Suriname), vocalist/harmonica Grandpa Elliott Small (New Orleans), vocalist/percussionist Mermans Kenkosenki (DRC Congo), guitarist Jason Tamba (Kinshasa, the capital of DRC Congo), and vocalist Titi Tsira (Gugulethu, African township in the Western Cape). “No one walked out at the end of the night on Saturday without a smile. In fact, it’s quite possible that no one has ever left a performance by the Playing for Change Band without sporting a huge, ear-to-ear grin.” – Greg Haymes, The Times Union

Tickets ($28.00-$38.00) for Playing for Change: The Band on February 29, 2012, at the Byham Theater may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), online at, or by calling (412) 456-6666. To purchase 10 or more tickets at special discounted rates, please call (412) 471-6930.

Posted on behalf of Joanne Quinn-Smith by Joyce Kane.  Joyce is the Owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

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