The Big Apple welcomed the Playing For Change Band to the Summer Stage in Central Park, New York City last night. After traveling from upstate Kingston, New York, the band was anxious to play yet another impressive performance for all of their eager fans.
The city seemed innocent and delicate in the early morning as I woke up to grab myself some breakfast. The Empire Hotel conveniently located on Broadway and 69th was an African themed high rise with comfy beds and an elegant rooftop lounge. Grandpa did not have to see the hotel to know that it was going to be a challenge to be frugal at a place like that. After I ordered some room service he asked, “Is there a tissue box around here?” I answered, “Sure. Are you feeling sick” He simply replied, “I’mma need to live in it after I pay this room service bill.” A booming laugh followed thereafter that bounced off the walls as loud as thunder. His laugh is unforgettable.
After staying a couple days in New York and getting better acquainted with the town, the Playing For Change Band was ready for their show in the park. It was a large stage that the band would play on for an hour and fifteen minutes before Babba Maal got up for his performance. Although they were opening for another artist, they were still excited to get playing time and exposure. A large crowd of roughly 2,000 people showed up on an outside AstroTurf field under the night sky.
Performances from both Playing For Change and Babba Maal sounded terrific! I overheard an audience member say that Playing For Change left him wanting more. The band would be very happy to know that! There was not only a good turn out of fans, but also a hefty amount of people backstage who help support the Playing For Change Foundation. And luckily for the band, there was an after party thrown for them at a nearby club, which everyone said was a good time
Something very special happened the night of the show at the Summer Stage. Among those 2,000 people in the crowd, my parents stood with proud eyes. Both of them came out to support me, but they had not spoken to each other in 17 years. I do not know if there was something in that New York City air that night, or if it was just the music of Playing For Change that brought a miracle to my family. My parents actually shared a laugh with each other that night. They even came to an agreement about legal financial matters, which I had never seen happen in all of my childhood years. Playing For Change brought change to my life before my very own eyes. I am forever grateful to the music of Playing For Change.
Today we travel to sunny San Diego, California for a show at the Belly Up. California shall be fun! Goodbye East Coast!
Playing for Change grew from a humble dream to make the world a little brighter, and now supports musicians all over the world. For only $5 a month, become a Member and enjoy the entire PFC music catalogue, receive discounts in our shop, and know 20% of your Membership is donated directly to the Playing for Change Foundation.