Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Playing for Change

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Playing for Change

Article excerpt

PLAYING FOR CHANGE

Various Artists (Hear Music, 2009)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

And they do mean various! This CD/DVD release includes artists from India to Ireland, South Africa to Russia, Israel to California, and practically all points in between. There is even a posthumous appearance from reggae prophet Bob Marley. Some of the Playing for Change musicians are famous (Bono of U2) or semi-famous (American bluesman Keb Mo). Others are barely known outside their hometowns. They are all united by producer Mark Johnson's vision of music as a unifying force for peace and progress.

Most of these musicians never met during the recording. Johnson filmed and recorded them in their home environments, usually outdoors in the countryside or on the streets. He then wove the pieces together into a tapestry of genuinely global music. Johnson says he got the idea for the project when he encountered a group of Asian monks singing in a New York subway station while 200 New Yorkers watched and listened--and even missed their trains. …

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