Rocky Dawuni visits PFCF Bizung School

Bizung School Program Director Mohammed Alidu and Rocky Dawuni in front of the Bizung School.

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. 

Rocky playing music with Bizung students

 

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.

Rocky Dawuni and Mohammed Alidu with members of the Bizung community.

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.

One love from Rocky Dawuni and Mohammed Alidu

Playing For Change featured on Inspired Money Podcast

PFC co-founder Mark Johnson was recently featured on the Inspired Money podcast with Andy Wang. Check out his interview below where he discusses how the playing For Change movement began, the power of music, and the amazing work the Playing For Chang Foundation is doing all over the world!

 

Learn more at www.inspiredmoney.fm/086

Playing For Change Foundation named 2019 Polar Music Prize Laureate

We are humbled, honored, and grateful to announce that our Playing For Change Foundation is a 2019 Polar Music Prize Laureate along with hip hop pioneer Joseph Saddler, known as Grandmaster Flash, and violinist, Anne-Sophie Mutter. The Polar Music Prize is an award that crosses musical boundaries; celebrating the power and importance of music by internationally recognizing excellence in the world of music. Past laureates include Sting, B.B. King, Yo-Yo Ma, Miriam Makeba, Metallica, Elton John, Dizzy Gillespie and more.

To every musician and their communities, and everyone around the world who’s supported the Playing For Change Movement, THANK YOU!!! This award is not just our award, it belongs to us all.

Through the power of music, we can continue to change the world; one heart and one song at a time!

 

>See Official Press Release

>Visit Polar Music Prize Website

>Donate to the Playing For Change Foundation

 

Playing For Change Announces WE ARE ONE Benefit Concert

Los Angeles, CA, August 22, 2017Playing For Change, the multimedia company responsible for the popular ‘Songs Around The World’ video series, has announced it will host WE ARE ONEa concert benefitting the Playing For Change Foundation and celebrating 10 years of positive change through music. Official partners for the event include Los Angeles’ premier rock radio station 95.5 KLOSLA Weekly, and Japan-based music app Nana. The concert will take place on Tuesday, October 3, at the historic Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles and feature performances from The Doobie Brothers members Tom JohnstonPatrick Simmonsand John McFee; as well as Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett from Little Feat; The Playing For Change Band, that features 10 respected musicians from 10 different countries; world-renowned drummer James Gadson; The Ambassador of Soul, Ellis Hall; legendary harmonica player Lee Oskar; and more. Ticketing options include an exclusive VIP experience with a pre-show meet and greet reception with The Doobie Brothers and musicians, bar offerings, a priority seating area, and VIP gift bag which includes a commemorative poster. Tickets are on sale now at https://tickets.alistixs.com/event/weareone

Playing For Change has garnered much success over the years by combining musicians from all walks of life, all over the world and showcasing music’s unifying power. Their videos have more than 450 million total online views, with their first ‘Songs Around The World’ video, “Stand By Me,” accumulating more than 100 million views on YouTube since its release in 2008. Artists such as Keith RichardsBonoJack JohnsonDavid CrosbyJimmy BuffettSara BareillesManu Chao, and many others have participated in these multi-cultural videos performing songs such as Bob Marley’s One Love” and “War/No More Trouble,” Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” and John Lennon’s Imagine.” Playing For Change’s new record, being released next year, features The Doobie Brothers along with more than 20 musicians from across the globe in a Song Around The World version of the band’s iconic hit song, “Listen to the Music.” The video for this song will be premiered at the show on October 3rd.

The Playing For Change Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 organization, was established in 2007 in order to give back to the communities of the musicians met while filming these videos. Now embarking on its 10th year, the foundation has developed 15 music programs in 11 countries including South Africa, Rwanda, Nepal, Thailand, and Argentina, and serves more than 1200 children. All proceeds from the WE ARE ONE benefit will support free music education as well as supplemental primary educational support, and life enhancement services provided by the Playing For Change Foundation and assist in its effort to serve even more communities.

“When one thinks of the thousands of children around the world positively impacted by the Playing For Change movement, gaining free access to music education in their own homelands, the love over a decade is simply immeasurable,” said John McKenna, Executive Director of Playing For Change Foundation. “What better place to celebrate than right here where it all started? We look forward to an unforgettable evening of joy, celebration, and recommitment to the children everywhere, through united love and song.”

“This concert represents 10 years of traveling to over 50 countries connecting the world through music. From the streets and villages to the stage to the hearts of the people, Playing For Change,” states Mark Johnson, Co-Founder of Playing For Change.