All-Star Cast of World Musicians Reunite For Playing For Change's 2012 'Back To Our Roots' Tour


Playing For Change, the multimedia project and global sensation that has united musicians and touched millions around the world since its 2004 launch, will embark on the ‘Back To Our Roots’ Tour in 2012, an expansive international tour with its most diverse lineup yet. The tour’s goal is not only to bring musicians together of all backgrounds, but to inspire, educate, and empower them through the creation of music and art schools in developing communities.

The 2012 Playing For Change Band lineup will feature renowned and wildly diverse musicians from around the world, making stops in major cities across the USA and Canada including Chicago, New York, Boston, Toronto, and Pittsburgh.  The line-up includes:

Grandpa Elliott (vocals/harmonica) – USA

Clarence Milton Bekker (vocals) – The Netherlands

Mermans Mosengo (vocals/guitar/percussion) – Congo

Jason Tamba (vocals/guitar) – Congo

Titi Tsira (vocals) – South Africa

Peter Bunetta (drums) – USA

Reggie McBride (bass) – USA

Mohammed Alidu (percussion) – Ghana

Renard Poche (lead guitar) – USA

Louis Mhlanga (flying guitar) – Zimbabwe

The group’s first single in 2009, an interpretation of the Ben E. Smith classic “Stand By Me,” saw a pastiche of musicians from around the world contributing verses using a mobile recording studio manned by producer Mark Johnson, who co-founded Playing For Change. The video has since accumulated over 38 million views on YouTube, with all Playing for Change “Around the World” videos generating a total of 100 million+ views.

Artists including Bono, Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley, Toots Hibbert, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, Vusi Mahlasela, and Manu Chao have collaborated on Playing For Change recordings, the most recent being 2011’s ‘Playing For Change 2: Songs Around The World’ (Hear Music/Playing For Change Records). Clarence Milton Bekker, a prolific and soulful Dutch singer who is featured on the album and tour, will also release his own new album ‘Old Soul’ in 2012, featuring reinterpretations of R&B classics such as Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” and Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’.”

In 2007, the Playing For Change Foundation was formed as a separate non-profit organization that creates and supports music schools all over the world, particularly in developing countries. Its mission is to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive an education in music has the opportunity to do so, based on the fundamental idea that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music.

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Playing For Change ‘Back To Our Roots’ Tour 2012 US Dates:

Feb. 12 – Saint Paul, MN – Ordway Center for The Performing Arts
Feb. 16 – Mississauga, Ontario, CA – Living Arts Centre
Feb. 19 – Calgary, Alberta, CA – MacEwan Centre Ballroom
Feb. 20 – Calgary, Alberta, CA – MacEwan Centre Ballroom
Feb. 22 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
Feb. 23 – Cedar Rapids, IA – CSPS
Feb. 24 – Indianapolis, IN – Clowes Memorial Hall
Feb. 25 – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music
Feb. 27 – Columbus, OH – Lincoln Theater
Feb. 28 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theater
Feb. 29 – Pittsburgh, PA – Byham Theater
Mar. 1 – New York, NY – The Concert Hall
Mar. 2 – Boston, MA – Berklee Performance Center
Mar. 7 – Annapolis, MD – Ramshead Onstage
Mar. 9 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
Mar. 10 – Napa, CA – Napa Valley Opera House
Mar. 11 – Folsom, CA – Three Stages
Mar. 13 – Arcata, CA – John Van Duzer Theatre
Mar. 14 – Chico, CA – Laxson Auditorium
Mar. 15 – Ashland, OR – Historic Ashland Armory
Mar. 16 – Olympia, WA – Washington Center For the Performing Arts
Mar. 17 – Port Angeles, WA – Little Theater