Original story by Isha Sesay, CNN
Here at the Mocha Club, it is always nice to hear of other artists who are using their musical voices to make a difference in the world. Grammy award-winning producer Mark Johnson launched the Playing for Change Foundation in 2004 to raise awareness for global peace by breaking global barriers and connecting people of different races.
He went around the globe recording over 150 street musicians from over 25 countries. He recorded classic songs such as “Stand by Me” and interwove them into a single song. Most of the musicians recorded were street musicians such as Mermans Kenkosenski from the Democratic Republic of Congo who are playing music for the love of it. He says, “There are people who play music for fame, for money, and there are people who play for the love of it.”
The album “Playing for Change: Songs Around the World” debuted at number 10 on the Billboard charts in 2009. All of the proceeds go to building music schools in Africa in countries such as Ghana, South Africa, and Mali. So far the foundation has started more than 8 programs for over 600 children and has created over 150 jobs for these people in Africa.