Earlier this month the students and teachers at the Playing For Change Foundation’s Bizung School of Music and Dance in Tamale, Ghana received a pleasant surprise with a visit from Grammy nominated Ghanaian recording artist Rocky Dawuni. Rocky is a long time supporter and friend of the PFC movement who’s been featured in a few of our videos including the Song Around The World “War/No More Trouble.”
PFC Communications Director and Producer J. Marie Jones caught up with Rocky after his visit to learn a bit about his trip:
J. Marie: What inspired you to visit the students at the Bizung School?
Rocky: I have always wanted to visit the Playing For Change Bizung School in Tamale because I am also from the northern part of Ghana. My collaborations with Playing For Change made it something that I needed to eventually do. I had travelled to my native village of Bunbon while on my way back the opportunity came for me to meet up with Alidu Muhammed and visit the school while doing press in Tamale for my new EP “Voice of Bunbon, Vol. 1”
J. Marie: Did you perform for and/or with the students? If so, what songs?
Rocky: I got the opportunity to listen to the student showcase some of their original compositions which are based on indigenous local styles. I then collaborated in a jam session with the students which was wonderful.
J. Marie: Please describe your experience at the school?
Rocky: I was very impressed by the dedication of the students. I had the rare opportunity of having a deep conversation with them about the trials of choosing music as a life path especially in such a musically conservative environment. I also shared with them my own personal stories and how I overcame similar situations with the sheer force of my determination, dedication and love of music.
J. Marie: What was the highlight of your visit at the school?
Rocky: The highlight of my visit to Bizung School was when I jumped on percussion and started jamming with all of the students who were playing xylophones along with Alidu Muhammed on percussion. We created a beautiful piece together.
J. Marie: Why is it important to share music with the younger generations?
Rocky: Music is an important tool to create generational connection. Music also allows the transference and sharing of ideas. Ultimately, music serves as a tool to inspire all of us to be better at what we do.
All of us here at Playing For Change and our partners at the Playing For Change Foundation want to send a big THANK YOU to Rocky and his manager Cary for making this possible. The community at the Bizung School will cherish this day for years to come! To find out how you can support music schools and programs such as the Bizung School, please visit playingforchange.org.