Playing For Change Inspires and Connects the World Through Music

About Us

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Playing For Change was created to inspire and connect the world through music. The idea for this project came from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.

Born in 2002 as a shared vision between co-founders Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, we hit the streets of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the people. This musical journey resulted in the award-winning documentary, “A Cinematic Discovery of Street Music.”

In 2005, Mark was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley singing “Stand By Me.” Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice that Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a "Song Around The World." Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Ever since that day the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around The World, and building a global family.

“Man I’m in the joy business, I come out to be with the people.”

Creating "Songs Around The World" inspired us to unite many of the greatest musicians we met throughout our journey and form the Playing For Change Band. These musicians come from many different countries and cultures, but through music they speak the same language. The band now tours the world, spreading the message of love and hope to audiences everywhere.

It’s been an exciting 20-year journey producing new music collaborations, creating a music and art school foundation for children, and unifying the world through music - no matter where you come from. And we’re just getting started.

Keith Richards bw

"Playing For Change, that's the way music was meant to be."

Keith Richards

Our Mission

Our mission is simple: to inspire and connect the world through music.

We believe that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome the differences that divide us.

Our primary focus is to fund, record, and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power through a variety of videos.

Chances are, one of those videos brought you here today, along with millions of other music-lovers from every continent.

To date, we have produced over 400 videos, recorded over 1,200 musicians in 60+ countries, and touched the hearts of over 2 billion viewers through our music videos, performances, and school programs.

None of this would be possible without our loyal supporters. And for that, we thank you for helping us bring more music and more positive change into the world.

B The Change 

We're happy to be part of the B Corp movement transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A Certified B Corporation meets the highest standards of transparency and verified overall social and environmental performance.

Our Partners in Making Change

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