One evening, a few years ago in Bahia, Brazil, the PFC crew and I were waiting for an 80-year-old cuica player to perform on a Song Around The World. I remember it seemed to take forever for him to make it down the hill, as he would stop off in every bar along the way for a drink and some conversation. As we waited I looked and saw a Rastaman walking across the street with his acoustic guitar in hand. I waved to him and he came over to see what we were doing with all our equipment. I told him about Playing For Change and he agreed to play a song for us while we were waiting. The result was an incredible, spontaneous performance of Dennis Brown’s “Rasta Children.” His voice reminded me of Peter Tosh and he sang with so much soul that we realized this could be an amazing Song Around The World.
Just one man and his guitar playing on the street set the tone for this song and we added a worldwide band of roots musicians around him. “I and I deal with humanity…”
Mark Johnson and Playing For Change