Monday, October 25, 2010

Peace Through Music

Friday night, during the Playing for Change concert in Dallas, I fell in love!

I fell in love with a 65 year old blind, black man from New Orleans and my life will never be the same again!

Grandpa Elliott and Clarence Bekker in action at the House of Blues in Dallas ( Photo - Keel)

Grandpa Elliott, born Elliot Small in 1945, also known as Uncle Remus, is a street-musician in New Orleans, Louisiana. He plays the harmonica, sings, and has been a New Orleans street icon for decades. His music and comforting presence have touched countless hearts throughout the years. When you think of the French Quarter you think of Grandpa. Many locals and frequent visitors to the Quarter consider Grandpa the saving grace and passionate force behind the revitalization of the city since Hurricane Katrina. His voice reminds us all that music can help the soul persevere through many hardships.

With a voice that tickles the soul and a harmonica that lifts the spirit, Grandpa continues to dazzle audiences from street corners to stages across the country.

He has also been on The Tonight Show and The Colbert Report. He has been a street icon on Royal Street in the French Quarter and Jackson Square in New Orleans since moving from New York City back to his place of birth in the 60's.

He performed to a crowd of more than 40,000 at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California, on June 30, 2009, playing the Star Spangled Banner on harmonica and singing God Bless America. Watch it HERE. His debut solo album, Sugar Sweet, was released November 3, 2009.

The Playing For Change Band is a group of musicians from different cultures uniting together for the common purpose of peace through music is a powerful statement. 
The Playing for Change Band
Their 2010 fall tour is highlighted by the addition of famed Senegalese guitarist Ilon Ba (Baaba Maal) to the stellar Playing For Change band which includes percussionist Mohammed Alidu (Northern Ghana), vocalist Clarence Bekker (Netherlands/Suriname), vocals/harmonica Grandpa Elliott (New Orleans), vocals/percussionist Mermans Kenkosenki (DRC Congo), guitarist Jason Tamba (Kinshasa, the capital of DRC Congo) and vocalist Titi Tsira (Gugulethu, South Africa). Watch them sing Felangaye HERE

The Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF) is dedicated to connecting the world through music by providing resources (including, but not limited to facilities, supplies, and educational programs) to musicians and their communities around the world.

Source: Wikipedia and the Playing For Change Website

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