Our friend, Eugene Jarecki, has released a new film titled, THE KING, which explores America via a musical road trip in Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce. Viewers are taken on a journey through American history and culture using the lens of music, and dive deep into how one musical icon’s life parallels with American society. The film is now showing in New York, with more cities coming soon. Check here for a list of theaters near you.
Watch the trailer:
About THE KING: Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner Eugene Jarecki’s new film takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. In this groundbreaking film, Jarecki paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American Dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here. A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and non, join the journey, including Alec Baldwin, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Van Jones, Mike Myers, and Dan Rather, among many others.
Featurette’s from the movie:
Watch Ethan Hawke step in to take ELVIS PRESLEY’s high school sweetheart to the prom she couldn’t attend and learn about The King’s extensive love life in this touching featurette.
Revolutionary rapper Immortal Technique hops into Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce for an electrifying video for his song “Rich Man’s World (1%)”.
The Stax Music Academy All-Stars of Memphis prove why they’re one of the most respected music schools in the country with a soulful rendition of “Chain of Fools,” all while crammed into the back seat of Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce limousine.
Sponsored by Lee Oskar Harmonicas, Playing For Change is happy to announce our new monthly giveaway sweepstakes! Each month, a new lucky winner will be selected to receive a Lee Oskar Harmonica, tuned to your favorite Playing For Change song, or key of your choosing. Winners will also receive educational information for your new Lee Oskar Harmonica, and by becoming a PFC member, you can enter the grand prize giveaway held twice a year!
Monthly Winners are notified via email, so don’t forget to check your inbox.
You can also boost your chances of winning by doing the following:
-Confirm your email entry
-Copy & Share YOUR lucky URL to earn more chances to win!
-Your entry points will be included in each month’s drawing, until you win!
At 12:00 a.m. ET, June 20th, our friends at peacechannel.com will be launching a 24-hour live stream webcast in honor of World Refugee Day 2018. The webcast will feature “music, news & views honoring the resilience of 65 million people forced to flee their homes by violence and disaster – the largest displacement in human history.”
Peace Channel is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peace and hope around the world by streaming the best of humanity. Their mission is as follows: “We offer motivating music from the planet’s leading artists, empowering advocacy from leaders in sustainable peace and prosperity, and surprising stories about ingenious individuals around the planet who are tackling humanity’s most urgent challenges — and winning!”
We are proud to promote the efforts of other like-minded organizations spreading peace and positivity throughout the world, and are happy to contribute to this day of global recognition for the millions of people displaced from their homes and countries. As with the many others in support of this initiative, we are honored to stand #withrefugees.
On June 1st, Playing For Change posted the music video to “Natural Mystic/Just A Little Bit”, making it the sixth song from Listen To The Music to be released in video. While the video is just under 5 minutes long, this collaboration is actually 5 years in the making, and spans 6 different countries, featuring 16 different artists. Whether you haven’t seen the release yet, or you’ve been watching it on repeat for the past two weeks, it’s always worth the watch, check it out below.
This collaboration shows two sides of the same world:
“The original idea for this Bob Marley Song Around The World was born back in 2013 when the PFC crew first visited the Congo. Mark asked himself, ‘How can we live in a world that allows people to live like this, with virtually no food, no money, and no hope?’ The lyric, ‘Things are not the way they used to be…one and all got to face reality’ came to mind as he looked out into the river of garbage running through the city. ‘Natural Mystic always felt so deep in its groove and lyrics and it seemed as important and urgent as what I was seeing all around me,'” says Mark.
We need to rise up and make the planet a better place right now for ourselves, our children, and all living things. ‘Just a Little Bit’ written and performed by Paula Fuga was added as a medley to ‘Natural Mystic’ to take the music from minor key to the major key—from the darkness to the light.”
The musicians featured in this video come from all over the world, like drummer Courtney “Bam” Diedrick from Jamaica and ATD Horns from Burkina Faso, to Lee Oskar in Seattle, Washington and Yu Hatakeyama from Tokyo, Japan. Despite every conceivable difference that separates each of these performers, this video has been made possible by the one unique commonality shared by all people. They all share the internal resonance that is music.
Along with new artists to the PFC family like Donald Kinsey, Mike Love, and Irie Love, “Natural Mystic/Just A Little Bit” was made possible with the help of a few familiar faces as well, including Jason Tamba, Mermans Mosengo, and Roberto Luti, all of the PFC Band. Currently, the band is just coming off an amazing adventure in Colorado, USA, where they played four shows from Colorado Springs, to Denver, and a two-day stay at Vail for the GoPro Mountain Games Festival. Beyond the band, past PFC collaborators like Jack Johnson, Paula Fuga, and even Washboard Chaz all make heartwarming appearances in another video once again, showing their remarkable talent and continued support of the movement.
If you didn’t already know, Paula’s performance on “Natural Mystic/Just A Little Bit” is an extra-special collaboration, as it unites Bob Marley’s 1977 song with her own original composition. Written for her two nieces, “Just A Little Bit” is a beautiful melody that encourages strength, perseverance, and just a little bit more joy throughout all the hardship in life. Where “Natural Mystic” acknowledges the pain, suffering, and the truth that is bound to come, Paula gives us the will to carry on just a little bit longer.
Last featured in Island Style – ‘Oiwi E, Song Across Hawai’i, Paula is a cherished singer/songwriter and ukulele player, praised for her soulful and honest vocals, as well as her commitment to her community and culture. Growing up in a difficult environment surrounded by the wrong influences, Paula recognized the value of her role models, particularly her grandparents, and has taken it upon herself to use her talents and her spirit to reach out to those in need.
“Fuga relentlessly strives to inspire youth across the world, sharing her story of perseverance and hope. She makes countless efforts to participate in various community projects focusing on protecting the environment and spreading the fundamental values of her native Hawaiian culture. Fuga is an artist on a mission and music is her vehicle.“
Whether she’s playing at Madison Square Garden, the White House, or a beach in Hilo, Paula’s purpose is the same—to uplift her community, cherish her culture, and enjoy every minute of it. Paula’s story is certainly that of a woman on a mission to connect the world through music, and we are honored to have shared in this collaboration with her, as well as with every other musician that makes this movement possible.
As the Summer rolls on, be on the lookout for our next release, Rasta Children, coming early this July. Along with each Summer release, we will continue to post more artist spotlight blogs such as this one to show our appreciation for the voices behind the music, and the people behind the movement.
Quote of the Day:
“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.”
Fan Photo of the Day: Special thank you to @hershe_june for this wonderful ‘Chaz’ inspired artwork. Click the link for similar drawings.
Throwback Video of the Day:
Finally, check out this video of the PFC Band playing live back in 2012.