Jackson Browne - Vocals/Piano
Los Angeles, California
An icon of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Jackson Browne is still the voice of a whole generation, embodying the ideals and carrying the word on the approaching of social, political, and environmental issues. These very issues, which have evolved through the passage of time, have transcended their historical context to become more pertinent and urgent than ever before.
Jackson would start his formal musical career in the late 1960s, not only as a musician but also as a songwriter for musicians like the American singer and songwriter Joan Baez (Before the Deluge, 1974), as well as internationally recognized rock bands like The Eagles (Doolin’ Dalton, James Dean, Nightingale, Take It Easy).
Jackson Browne - “Take It Easy” (Live with The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt)
At the age of 23, and after performing as a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and as German singer Nico's backup guitarist, among other gigs, Jackson released his first self-titled album in 1972 and gained international notoriety with the classic "Doctor My Eyes."
Doctor My Eyes - Original
Jackson’s solo career would only go upwards with the release of "Stay," a song originally written by Maurice Williams in the 1960s and released on the album Running on Empty (1977).
Jackson Browne - “Stay”/”The Load Out”
In the 1979, he started to take action in activism by performing in numerous performances with MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) with musicians and other activists like Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Harvey Wasserman, and John Hall. MUSE organized a series of five “No Nukes” concerts held at Madison Square Garden in New York in September 1979.
In 1983, he would take the charts again with "Lawyers in Love," and in 1986 with "You're a Friend of Mine," forming a duo with Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.Jackson Browne - “Lawyers in Love”
Clarence Clemons & Jackson Browne - You're a Friend of Mine
Listen to his latest album: Downhill From Everywhere
While the issues Browne tackles on the album are often sweeping and existential, he writes on a far more intimate scale, consistently zeroing in on the human experience at the heart of it all. Whether singing about a Catholic priest navigating the slums of Haiti on his motorbike or a young Mexican woman who’s risked everything in pursuit of a better life across the border, Browne manages to tap into a universal emotional language, one that makes the old feel new and the foreign feel familiar.
“There’s a deep current of inclusion running through this record,” Browne explains. “I think that idea of inclusion, of opening yourself up to people who are different than you, that’s the fundamental basis for any kind of understanding in this world.”
Want to hear more? Click here to listen to our compilation of Jackson Browne’s best hits.
Apple music: https://music.apple.com/us/art...
Leland Sklar - Bass (Toto) (The Section)
Los Angeles, California
Rajhesh Vaidhya - Veena
A child born into a musically rich environment, Rajhesh inherited his talents from his father, Sri K.M. Vaidyanathan, who was also a talented musician at the time. His father was the one who influenced Rajhesh's musical career, as was veena master Shri Chitti Babu.
Rajhesh took a huge step in updating the veena sound by electrically amplifying the wire of the instrument (like an electric guitar). However, he kept rooted in his classical tradition while teaching at Ravna, his own veena school with modern touches.
Rajhesh was honored with the title "Shree Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Aasthana Vidwan," which refers to being recognized as a "Vidwan" (expert) in the court or musical institution "Aasthana" of the "Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam," an important religious and spiritual center in India. Also, in 2011, he was honored with the prestigious title "Kalaimamani," which roughly translates to "Jewel of Art" and is a recognition of the significant achievements and contributions of an individual in their artistic field. Within the tradition of veena and South Indian music, he is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and technically captivating artists.
How we met:
One of our PFC music producers, Enzo Buono, has been working with Rajhesh for several years. Enzo has always visioned Rajhesh as one of the most talented musicians he has worked with in his entire career, and he had been waiting for the right moment to include him in a Playing For Change project. His ability to play the veena is remarkable, providing, not only an auditory explosion, but also a visual delight.
Want to hear more? Click here to listen to our compilation of Rajhesh Vaidhya’s best performances:
Apple music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/rajhesh-vaidhya/538774206
Zakir Hussain - Tabla
The pre-eminent classical tabla virtuoso of our time, Zakir Hussain, is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon and one of the world’s most esteemed and influential musicians. The foremost disciple of his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, Zakir was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of 12, accompanying India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers and touring internationally with great success by the age of 18.
Zakir Hussain is considered an architect of the contemporary world music movement, collaborating with artists such as Mickey Hart, Belá Fleck, Charles Lloyd, Eric Harland, and many more contemporary artists.
Read: The Master of Tabla
Want to hear more? Click here to listen to our compilation of Zakir Hussain’s best performances:
Russ Kunkel - Percussion (The Section)
Los Angeles, California
Russ Kunkel, a talented performer, producer, songwriter, and musician, has been demanded for a long time by the top names in rock and roll. He has either toured, written songs, produced a session, or played with artists such as Steve Winwood, Linda Ronstadt, Dan Fogelberg, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Joe Walsh, James Taylor, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Bob Seger, Stevie Nicks, Simon & Garfunkel, Aaron Neville, The Bee Gees, Reba McIntyre, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, Lyle Lovett, and Jimmy Buffett, among others.
Moving from Pittsburgh to Southern California, Kunkel drummed in a series of groups before forming the band Things to Come in 1966 with lead singer Steve Runolfsson, drummer Russ Kunkel, and bassist Bryan Garofalo.
The Beatles' Apple Records head, Peter Asher, who was recruiting players for an album by a new artist, James Taylor, suddenly caught an interest in the band. He hired Kunkel to play on Taylor's Apple debut, and it wasn't long before Kunkel found himself playing with George Harrison and Bob Dylan, among others.DW Drum Day: Russ Kunkel Performing "Running on Empty' by Jackson Brown
Raul Maldonado - Guiro
San Juan, Puerto Rico
From San Juan, Puerto Rico, Raul Maldonado is a drummer, composer and professor at Interamericana PR. You can listen to another one of his collaborations with PFC, along with legendary percussionists Giovanni Hidalgo and his father Mañengue Hidalgo performing Buena Vista Social Club's "El Carretero" Live Outside in Puerto Rico.El Carretero | Giovanni Hidalgo & Friends | Playing For Change | Live Outside
Jorginho Gomes - Drums
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Born in Salvador, Brazil, Jorginho Gomes is a musician and composer who started to play at the young age of 12 years old and formed numerous bands at the age of 15.
He also accompanied numerous Brazilian artists such as Gal Costa, Moraes Moreira, Marisa Monte, Sandra de Sá, A Cor do Som, Luiz Melodia, Erasmo Carlos, Tim Maia, Ed Motta, Armandinho Macedo, among others.
Sherieta Lewis & Roselyn Williams - Vocals
Sherieta is a singer/songwriter and vocal arranger from Kingston, Jamaica. She is no stranger to the reggae music industry penning lyrics for artists such as Etana, Luciano, Marica Griffiths and Jah Cure to name a few and has also done background vocals for the likes of Tarrus Riley, Diana King, Duane Stephenson and a host of other reggae music greats.
Roselyn grew up as the youngest of nine siblings when she started to sing, dance and play music. She was affectionately called Mic Belly because even at such a young age you could hear the power in her voice. Her journey took her to The Ashe Ensemble and later singing backgrounds with Damian Marley, Nas, Third World and Beres Hammond.
Outstanding PFC Albums:
Chavonne Stewart - Vocals
Santa Monica, California
Entrepreneur, vocalist, motivational speaker, mother and wife. Chavonne Stewart is the founder and director of Exposher. A mentorship organization serving inner-city girls with the mission to expose underserved girls of diverse backgrounds to career and life opportunities.
Giovanni Hidalgo - Congas
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Legendary, Grammy-award winning percussionist, Giovanni Hidalgo was born in Puerto Rico in 1963. Growing up in a musical household, he began playing on a homemade conga crafted by his father, Mañengue Hidalgo, when he was just eight years old.
Hidalgo first became popular outside his native Puerto Rico in the early 1980s. In 1981, he went to Cuba to work with Batacumbele, where he met Changuito. The two artists were perfectly attuned to each other, which was evident in Batacumbele's debut album. That effort, featuring Hidalgo's incredible hand drumming technique, gave him instant prominence among musicians around the world.
Hidalgo forged a relationship with American jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, just a few years later. In 1988, Gillespie recruited Hidalgo to play with him in the United Nations Jazz Orchestra.
In May 2010, Hidalgo was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music and is considered one of the top Latin percussionists in the world today.King Clave | Planet Drum ft. Mickey Hart | Playing For Change | Song Around The World
Want to hear more? We have a special playlist compilation of Giovanni’s best performances here:
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/giovanni-hidalgo/105206
Char - Guitar
Mayla Valentin started learning music at a very young age with her own mother who was the music teacher. Her mother taught her acoustic guitar and the fundamentals of Brazilian music. In 2007, she had her first European tour with Dalci Valentin’s choir, performing around Europe. From 2009 to 2013, she studied percussion and graduated from the University of Univali. From there on, Mayla has been recording with artists such as Jackson Carlos and Gregory Haertel, around Brazil, and also working as a music teacher for kids.
Rafael Pacheco Gomes is a musician from Brazil living in Lima-Perú where he performs Brazilian music and also works as a Reiki holistic therapist, performing guidance meditations and sound healing sessions.
Rafael was born into a musical family. His father played the cavaquinho and loved samba so that provided a strong Brazilian music background for him since he was a baby. Now music keeps flowing naturally throughout Rafael. “Music is the most powerful healing tool we have on earth.”
Char - Guitar
Char was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1955 and started playing guitar at the age of eight. Known as Japan's most influential guitarist and a longtime leader in Japan's music scene, he began his career as a professional session musician in both the studio and at live performances during his junior high school years.
In 1973, Char formed his first band, Smoky Medicine. After playing with a number of other bands, in 1976, Char released his major label debut single, "Navy Blue." In 1978, Char formed the still highly influential band Johnny, Louis & Char (later renamed Pink Cloud). Char's solo projects include the album U.S.J made with Steve Lukather and released in '81.
“Navy Blue” - Char
Char spent a year arranging and recording songs from artists he was most influenced by including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Ventures, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix for the release of a DVD and CD cover song collection entitled TRADROCK by Char and released on Zicca Records in 2010. The year 2011 marked the 35th anniversary of Char's debut.
We also had the honor of having Char as a member of our 2023 tour in Japan, in a special series of performances from Tokyo to Osaka.
The Journey of the PFC Band: Japan Tour | Episode 2 | Playing For Change
Watch all episodes here:
Want to hear more? We have a special playlist compilation of Char's best hits here.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/char/74485838
Bayakanda - Drum Group
Bayakanda is a musical group from Kinshasa, Congo. The group is featured in the Song Around The World “Colors” premiered at the Peace Through Music 2021 online event, as well as this new tribute of “Doctor My Eyes.”
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