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By Anne Simpkinson

From Personal Growth to Global Change

Sometimes our own personal growth expands outward to touch others in our family, in our community, in the world. None have done this as harmoniously as the Playing for Change folks.

The organization is, in their words, a “movement created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music.” They do this by recording music all over the world and combining it into one song. Their rendition of “Stand by Me,” using musicians from literally across the globe—from Santa Monica, California, and New Orleans to Pisa, Italy; Barcelona; Toulouse, France; three locations in South Africa and even Moscow—caught my attention and got me following their progress through 40-plus projects. It’s one of those “got-to-move, got-to-groove” songs.

A group of them, including the indomitable and adorable Granda Elliot now tour. I highly recommend at least following, if not supporting, them.

Here’s their latest instrumental, a beautiful, haunting “global jam” called “Groove in G,” featuring musicians from the U.S., Mali, Japan, Spain, India, Colombia and Brazil.

It’s a testament to the universal language of music that it can lift the spirit and nourish the starving soul.

Anne Simpkinson is the online managing editor of guideposts.org. She co-authored Soul Work: A Field Guide for Spiritual Seekers and has edited two anthologies entitled Sacred Stories: A Celebration of the Power of Stories to Transform and Heal and Nourishing the Soul: Discovering the Sacred in Everyday Life. A spiritual practice, good friends, lakeside cottage and two lovely feline companions continue to transform and enrich her life.