It started with unknown musician, Roger Ridley, busking on a Santa Monica street side, soulfully singing “Stand By Me.”
Now, big-name musicians including the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and Sara Bareilles have teamed up with musicians from all over the world for Playing for Change, which was created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music.
Playing for Change is hosting extensive tour stops across the U.S. through July, and has released its third album, Playing for Change 3: Songs Around the World, featuring artists from 31 different countries.
Richards’ tune “Words of Wonder/Get up Stand up,” which is featured on the album, has already has racked up more than 290,000 hits on YouTube. He sings with an array of soulful, eclectic artists such as Titi Tsira of South Africa, Washboard Chaz of New Orleans, Brazil’s Johnny Herno, and the Guardians of the New Fire from Mexico.
In the video, the musicians appear wearing headsets as they groove to the music, each in their own country’s setting. Singing for peace. Playing for change.
In an interview with Billboard, Playing for Change co-founder Mark Johnson said when they traveled to the Caribbean to record and film Richards, there was not a cloud in the sky for days.
“On the day of the recording, a storm came from out of nowhere, and it rained like crazy all day until right before sunset,” Johnson said. “When Keith appeared by the beach, the clouds literally parted from the sky; a fire pit started to burn and we where ready to record the legend.”
Approximately 185 musicians from 31 different countries came together for the album, blending foot-tappin’ folk, jazz, blues, soul, reggae and good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll into PFC3: Songs Around The World, now available on iTunes, and in stores on CD and DVD.
Proceeds from the album and concert ticket sales will go toward building music and art schools for children around the world, while aiming to inspire hope for the future.
Watch how it all started, with Roger Ridley singing “Stand By Me.”