Press Release

Playing for Change and the United Nations Population Fund stand for human rights with a special release of "Peace Through Music," a global virtual event for social justice

08 Dec 2020


Los Angeles, CA — December 8, 2020 — After accumulating more than 4 million views during the successful 48 hour premiere of their virtual concert and fundraising event Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice, Playing For Change and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are proud to announce an encore presentation presented by Corning® Gorilla® Glass in partnership with Gibson in honor of Human Rights Day. The event will be released on December 10th at 12pm PST/3pm EST/8pm GMT on the Playing For Change YouTube channel.

The event, produced by Playing For Change and Blackbird Presents, features more than 200 musicians including: Aloe Blacc, Angélique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Becky G, Brandi Carlile with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana, Gabi Melim, Gary Clark Jr., Jack Johnson, Jim James, Keb’ Mo’, Keith Richards, Mavis Staples, Nathaniel Rateliff, Peter Gabriel, Rhiannon Giddens, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson, Robert Randolph, Run The Jewels with Josh Homme, Sheila E., Skip Marley and Cedella Marley, The War and Treaty, Yo-Yo Ma and many more. Special appearances include Billie Eilish, Ellie Goulding, Danny Glover, Jamal Murray, Killer Mike, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, Norman Lear, Prince Ea and Sara Bareilles.

Through the power of music and the art of storytelling, the event aims to showcase the interconnectedness of humanity and activate the world to stand up for and champion the full protection and promotion of human rights for all, especially those in the most vulnerable communities. 

Highlights of the event will include special remarks from Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA and Epsy Campbell Barr, First Vice President of Costa Rica. In addition, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will offer a message to empower the world to seek freedom and justice, end all forms of discrimination and protect everyone’s rights.

A moment not to miss is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Peter Gabriel joined by Beninise vocalist and activist Angélique Kidjo, Silkroad’s Yo-Yo Ma and musicians from South Africa, India, and the United States for a powerful remake of his classic “Biko”. The moving performance will be introduced by Nkosinathi Biko, son of the deceased anti-apartheid activist and subject of the song Steven Biko. 

The event will also feature a soul stirring performance by Gary Clark Jr. of his GRAMMY Award-winning song This Land, Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana joined by Uruguayan percussionist Rubén Rada and Tito Puente Jr. for Oye Cómo Va and a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin by Brandi Carlile with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, to name a few.

Contributions from partners and all donations will support the Playing For Change Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations and its Remember Slavery Programme, Sankofa, the Bob Marley Foundation, Silkroad, and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation—organizations and programs that strive to eradicate poverty, inequality, and systemic racial and gender discrimination around the world.

In honor of Human Rights Day, Gibson has created a special “Peace Through Music” Gibson Dove Acoustic custom guitar. The “Peace Through Music” Gibson Dove Acoustic guitar is up for auction starting today, December 8 via the Gibson Gives page on CharityBuzz. All proceeds from the Gibson Gives guitar auction will benefit the Playing For Change Foundation.

“We are stronger together than we are apart, and it is an honor to partner with like-minded artists and charities that echo this sentiment. The power of music is one tool we can use to unite and eradicate racism, inequality, poverty, and all other diseases that have plagued our world for much too long. The things in life that divide us, disappear when the music plays, and that’s something we hope you see and feel during this event,” says Mark Johnson, Playing For Change Co-Founder.

“Music is a wonderful medium to raise awareness about our collective quest for peace, justice, equality and dignity – the noble ideals of the United Nations. It is a powerful, unifying language that can help build bridges and advance social justice in all of its forms,” says Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund.

“We need to rediscover and reassert the language of our unity, of our common fears and common hopes, forged through the crucible of the pandemic.  And what better example is there of a common language beyond our differences, notwithstanding our divisions, than music? We are delighted to be a part of this exciting event, advocating for social justice, and in honor of UN75,” says Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary.

“We are honored to work with artists and organizations that share in the values of peace, justice, and equality for all humans. This event is a reflection of these values at a time when they are sorely needed in this world,” says Keith Wortman, Founder, and CEO of Blackbird Presents.

“We’re proud to collaborate with Playing for Change and UNFPA on this exciting event,” said Scott Forester, Division Vice President, Business Director, Corning® Gorilla® Glass. “Over the last two years, the Gorilla Glass business’ relationship with Playing For Change has showcased the importance of music as a universal language and helps unite us as a global community.  In today's digital life, music is shared, and even created through our mobile devices – which is why we at Corning are excited that Gorilla Glass technology can play a small but important role in helping to protect our devices and ensuring that we stay connected to one another.”

“For over 100 years we have been inspiring, supporting and engaging with musicians across all generations, genres and nations, but it feels like the world needs music now more than ever to bring us together,” says James “JC” Curleigh, President and CEO of Gibson. “The opportunity for us to partner with Playing For Change will create a compelling music movement around the world”.


Full Lineup:

Abdiel Pérez, Abiodun Oyewole (The Last Poets), Afro Fiesta, Ahmed Al Harmi, Al Harban Brothers, Alceu Maia, Alcione, Alfred Howard (US), Ali Boulala, Aloe Blacc, Amin Dominguez, Amina J. Mohammed (UN), Ana Carolina Pitti, André Siqueira, Andreus Valdés Torres, Angélique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, Armando Chiari, Azueï, Barou Sall, Becky G, Béla Fleck, Bernardo Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), Bill Summers, Billie Eilish, Binho, Bizung Family Band, Brandi Carlile with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Candombe Drum Group, Carl C-Wyya Edwards, Carlinhos 7 Cordas, Carlos Amaya, Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana, Cesar Pope, Chandrajit, Chango Spasiuk, Char, Cheikh Gueye, Chouloute Minouche, Cizinho Jorge, Clarence Bekker, Congo Drums, Cory Henry, Courtney "Bam" Diedrick, Cristina Pato, Damaso Meléndez, Danny Glover,  David Casséus, Debora Do Santos, Dianelys Vázquez, Dimitri Dolganov, Dina Elwebidi, Diógenes Villanueva, Django Degen, Donald Harrison and Congo Square Nation, Dr. John, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Dudu Nobre, Dynamic Music Collective, Eduin Valdés Hernández, EduMundo and Caveman, Elián De Hoyos, Elianys de Hoyos, Ellie Goulding, Elsa Molinar, Epsy Campbell Barr, Erubide Arias, Estefani Moreno, Estevenson Padilla Valdés, Eyadou Ag Leche, Fabián Miodownik, Fabrizio Hochschild-Drummond, Fernando Caballero, Fernando “Lobo" Núñez, Francois Viguie, Gabi Melim, Gary Clark Jr., George Porter Jr.,  Geraldo & Dionisio, Gilberto Muñoz, Grandpa Elliott, Guardians Of The New Fire, Guimel Jimenez, Gustavo Montemurro, Heraldo De Hoyos, Hiromitsu Agatsuma, Hugo Soares, Hutch Hutchinson, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Ibram X. Kendi, Ignacio Mateu, Iluska Quiñones, Ivan Neville, Jack Johnson, Jaguara, Jairo Esquina, Jamal Murray, James Vergneau aka Rebel Layonn, Jason Tamba, Javoci Do Imperio, Jeanine Gall, Jim James, Joao Viana, John Cruz, John Prine, John Herno, Jorge Jiménez, Jorge Williams, José Luis “Bocha” Martínez, José Valdés Terán, Julieta Rada, Junior Kissangwa Mbouta, Karl Perazzo, Kasha Sequoia Slavner, Keb' Mo', Keiko Komaki, Keiler Valdés Herrera, Keith Richards, Killer Mike, Kolgate, La Escuelita del Ritmo, Larkin Poe, Lee Oskar, Lindomar Fraga, Los hijos de Benkos, Louis Mhlanga, Lucas Pietro, Lucila Rada, Luis Carlos Cassiani Simarra, Luiz Augusto, Luiz Otavio, Lukas Nelson, Lurielys Albert, Mamadou Sarr, Mambueni Bisalu, Manuel Betegón, Manuel Pérez Salinas, Marcelo Blanco, Marcus King, Marfa Kurakina, Mark Johnson, Mary Ann Ortiz, Massamba Diop, Mateo, Matias Rada, Mbonda Tempelo, Mavis Staples, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, Mermans Mosengo, Meshell Ndegeocello, Mestra Joana Cavalcante, Michelle Bachelet, Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), MishCatt, Mohammed Alidu, Nasreen Sheikh, Natalia Kanem (UNFPA), Nathaniel Rateliff, Nayelis Boltier, Nelson Cedres, Nelson Rangel, Nielson Do Tamborim, Nikki Burt, Noé Núñez, Norm, Norman Lear, Ousseynou and Assane Kaba, Papa Lusamba, "Papi" Felix Garemua, Paulo Heman, Peter Bunetta, Peter Gabriel, Playing For Change Band, Playing For Change Foundation, Pokei Klaas, POPO, Prince Ea, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Rajeev Shrestha, Reggie McBride, Renan Silva, Rhiannon Giddens, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson, Robert Randolph, Roberto Luti, Robin Moxey, Roger Ridley, Rubén Rada, Rudson Daniel and Enio Taquari, Rui Dinis, Run The Jewels with Josh Homme, Sanjay Shrestha, Santiago Luzacando, Sara Bareilles, Sean "Pow" Diedrick, Sebastian Robertson, Sexteto Tabala, Sheila E., Shemekia Copeland, Sherieta Lewis and Roselyn Williams, Silkroad, Sinamuva, Skip Marley and Cedella Marley, Sol Homar, Songhoy Blues, Stefano Tomaselli, Taikoproject, Taimane, Tal Wilkenfeld, Tatiana Muñoz, The Cape Town Ensemble, The War and Treaty, Tia Vilma, Tito Puente Jr., Toumani Diabaté, TP OK Jazz, Tuca Da Cuica, Tula Ben Ari, Tushar Lall, Twanguero, Twin Eagle Drum Group, Venkat, Victor Gabriel Castro, Victor Jiménez, Vientos de Cordoba, Vusi Mahlasela, Washboard Chaz, Welele Doubout, Whitney Kroenke Silverstein, Wilbert Valdés Torres, Williams Callender, Yo-Yo Ma, Yu Hatakeyama, ZEPA, Zulu Choir


For more information about Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice, please visit the Peace Through Music event website.

About Playing For Change 

Playing For Change (PFC) is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. PFC spreads their positive message for humanity to millions of people through inspiring multicultural music videos, a live global touring band and a 501c3 foundation supporting music education around the world.

Learn more at

About Playing For Change Foundation

Founded in 2007, the Playing For Change Foundation was established to create positive change through music and arts education. Its work engages marginalized youth in low income, yet culturally rich, communities around the world. Utilizing local music, teachers, and infrastructure, each student is able to rise up through music, dance, arts, sports, and much more, all within their own culture. It currently operates 15 music programs in 11 countries, teaches over 3,000 kids each week, and has positively impacted more than 40,000 lives of kids and families in need. The Foundation was awarded the Polar Music Prize in 2019.

Learn more at


About the United Nations Population Fund

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. It is formally named the United Nations Population Fund. UNFPA's mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, quality maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education. 

Learn more at

About UN75

To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations launched the world’s largest global conversation on ‘the future we want’. UN75 invites people everywhere to imagine the future they want and contribute ideas on how to make it a reality, building a better and more sustainable world, for all. It is also the largest survey to date on priorities for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, over a million people from all countries and all walks of life have had their say. Their answers provide unique insights into what the public wants at this challenging time for the world.  For more information, please visit:

Take the UN75 global survey – have YOUR say:

About the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme

The United Nations Remember Slavery Programme was established by the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution 62/122 to commemorate the victims of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, and to mobilize educational institutions, civil society and other organizations to teach future generations about the causes and consequences and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, and the dangers of racism and prejudice. The Remember Slavery Programme aims to bring attention to the history and legacy of  the 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade, to encourage action against all contemporary expressions of racism and prejudice.

About the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)

In proclaiming this Decade under the theme of recognition, justice, and development, the international community is recognizing that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. Around 200 million people identifying themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world. Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade or as more recent migrants, they constitute some of the poorest and most marginalized groups that still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security.

About Blackbird Presents

Blackbird Presents is a leading global media company that creates and produces premium, music-driven events and content via a range of strategies including all-star concert events, tours, festivals, broadcast specials, episodic series, and documentaries. 

Recent concerts, broadcast specials and releases include “Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw,” “All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration,” “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard,” “The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson,” “Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert,” “Outlaw: Celebrating The Music of Waylon Jennings,” “I'll Take You There: Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples,” “The Life and Songs of Emmylou Harris,” “Lynyrd Skynyrd: One More For The Fans,” “The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac and His Music” and “All My Friends: Celebrating The Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman,” the last of which earned a GRAMMY® Award nomination for Gregg Allman and Taj Mahal's awe-inspiring performance of "Statesboro Blues. ”Blackbird Presents is also the creator and producer of The Outlaw Music Festival Tour, in partnership with Willie Nelson; The American Roots Music & Arts Festival, in partnership with Eric Church; and The Last Waltz 40 Tour in partnership with Robbie Robertson. 

Learn more at

About Corning® Gorilla® Glass

Corning® Gorilla® Glass launched in 2007.  Since its inception, Gorilla Glass has become the glass of choice for mobile consumer electronics manufacturers around the globe. The patented, durable glass technology has been designed into more than 8 billion consumer electronic devices by more than 45 major OEMs. Formed through Corning’s proprietary fusion draw process and strengthened through an ion-exchange process, Corning Gorilla Glass continues to deliver industry-leading performance and durability with a thin, pristine surface that is ideal for the mobile consumer electronics industry as well as automotive applications.

About Gibson

Gibson, the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, TN, with a premiere acoustic facility in Bozeman, MT, Gibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships, and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the number one guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger, and the Gibson Pro Audio Division, KRK Music. Gibson Brands is dedicated to quality, innovation, and sound excellence so that music lovers for generations to come will continue to experience music shaped by Gibson Brands.

Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Gibson TV, and Instagram.


Press Contacts: 

Playing For Change and Blackbird Presents

Ebie McFarland/Essential Broadcast Media,


Eddie Wright, 

Álvaro Serrano, 


Libby Coffey/PRIME PR GROUP, INC.,

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