Playing For Change raises lots of money to build schools in developing communities around the world. Playing For Change producer Mark Johnson, talking at Bluesfest, to the ABC:

The initial idea came when I was recording music in New York City. I was on my way to work one day in the subway and there were two monks painted all in white with robes on. One playing nylon guitar and the other singing. And I don’t know in what language and I imagine none of the other people did either. But on this day, I mean every day in New York City there is music in the subway. But on this day I come down on the platform and it’s packed full of people. No one is getting on the train so I fight through this crowd to watch this music and mostly I just look around me and i see this most diverse group of people ever, old people, young people, rich people, homeless people, all sharing in this music and some people crying and smiling and it was just like an epiphany. You know it was a powerful moment. And then I got on the train and then I realised the best music I heard in my life was on the way to the studio, not in the studio. That’s when I realised there are moments in time. That’s when I said I’m going to travel city streets, subways, Indian reservations, Brazilian favelas, African villages, into the Himalayan mountains, and find those moments you know where we are all truly connected as human beings. And as we travel it evolves into something really powerful because you end up building a family. Music is the one thing that is for everybody. Like if you perform music or if you listen to music you share in the experience, you have equal value. And because of that connection it becomes so deep into humanity. As you do this around the world and you bring people together you can see the importance that it has in each person. That is why we continue to grow as a project but we also realise it only means something if you’re giving back. #‎MusicOfLife‬

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