Streaming Cafe

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Playing For Change Day - My Dearest Friends with Brent Tyler

by Malcolm Petch
In a town like Kelowna it is not uncommon to see buskers doing their thing in various locations, especially during the summer months. Voices raised above the downtown traffic, guitar chords spilling out into the streets, instrument cases open to catch coins and bills dropped by passing tourists. You could say these street artists are playing for change.

On September 17, “playing for change” takes on a different meaning when artists and individuals around the world kick into gear for the first annual Playing For Change Day. Playing For Change, in this sense, is “a creative day of action that uses the universal power of music to create positive social change” – and it’s the brainchild of the Playing For Change Foundation, an organization dedicated to connecting the world through music.

Do you remember that viral video from a while back in which various singers and musicians from around the world each played a few moments of the same song (‘Stand by Me’, I think) and then those moments were all put together into one woven-together masterpiece? That was one small slice of a larger documentary being made on music around the world, and that was the start of Playing For Change. The filmmakers involved in that project found themselves getting inexorably connected to the music and people of each community they spent time in, and they came to the conclusion that they wouldn’t be able to simply walk away from it all once their documentary was completed. The film crew found that even in the poorest of villages the people around them were filled with warmth and generosity, and seemed to have in common a prevailing connection through music.

The Playing For Change Foundation formed out of that experience, and now pursues its mission to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive a music education would have the opportunity to do so. There are at least seven different PFC music schools in operation now, from Ghana to Rwanda to Nepal, and there’s no indication that expansion is going to change anytime soon.

On September 17 artists around the world are touting the benefits of this Foundation’s mission to the world. Playing For Change Day will see stages and venues around the world raising funds and awareness for this non-profit organization, and Kelowna will be right up there among them. The theme for this year’s push is “Power To The People”, taking its inspiration from the activism of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in support of the arts and arts education. Theatre Within, Yoko Ono’s ongoing arts education organization, are also benefiting from funds raised on PFC Day.

Canadian indie band My Dear Friends are appearing with Brent Tyler at Streaming CafĂ© on September 17. They’ve decided to make their gig that night part of PFC Day, and they invite long-time fans and fresh ears alike to enjoy their music in person (596 Leon Ave in Kelowna) or online (streamingcafe.net) and to join in wholeheartedly to this world-wide day of awareness and action.

For more information on Playing For Change you can visit http://playingforchange.org/ and http://playingforchange.org/news/detail/announcing_the_1st_annual_playing_for_change_day_on_september_17th and for more on My Dear Friends & Brent Tyler, you can find them at http://brentyler.com// and http://www.myspace.com/mydearestfriends

See you on the 17th!

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