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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Future Connector: Mark Johnson

March 9th, 2011
11:59 AM ET

Mark Johnson is a Grammy award-winning producer and engineer, and co-founder of Playing for Change.

After a decade working with some of the most renowned names in the music, film and television industries, Mark came up with the idea for Playing for Change – an innovative and mobile technique used to record musicians all over the world and combine their voices together.

Mark Johnson and his crew literally “connect the world” by capturing stunning musical collaborations that blend diverse styles of music into powerful performances.

TheirStand by Me” music video mixed the performances of 18 street musicians, a South African Choir and a Native American drum group into a clip that had over 30 million views on YouTube.

"Stand by Me" laid the foundation for the best selling CD/DVD set Playing For Change: Songs Around The World, which debuted at #10 on Billboard's Pop Chart in April 2009.

Since then the Playing for Change Foundation has opened music schools around the world, and has provided valuable resources for musicians.

They’ve also announced a new project coming out in May 2011.

What do you want to ask Mark Johnson? Leave your questions below and tell us where you’re writing from.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jurgen Brul

    Hello Mark Johnson and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Mark Johnson on the following questions:

    – How will Playing for Change Improve our world?

    – What can we expect from you in 2011?

    I am awaiting Mark Johnson’s replies.
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Nativity country: Suriname

    March 10, 2011 at 12:15 am | Reply
  2. Barrett

    I know you know about the weather. Are you checking earthquake weather around the globe? Do you know about polarities that are shifting? Did you know that the evolution of species was begun by star matter? Meaning what?
    The meaning is the gravitational attraction of star interactions.
    The solution is you might want to 'duck and cover'.

    March 11, 2011 at 6:56 am | Reply

    now the french are gunhoe, i say let them go it alone. as a matter of fact let eroupe attempt to rob africa again, as they did during colonial good old days. eroupe is no longer big money. it is time we as americans take care of our own fiscal responsiblities. reignin all spending. the miitary efforts should go to our combat troops fighting now. countries who depend on america for their safety should pay for it. our miltary troop strengh shuold be increased by recalling those units now comitted in non-physical combart roles. we are facing a massive encraochment of or our way of life. americans must prepare for difficult days by sacrificeing now. we pay more for less in packageing of our food. our moneey is stolen from banks while drugs flow in our istitutions. every perversion known to man in marginilizeing morality.

    March 11, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
  4. Michael

    what was it like working with that number of musicians from all over the world?

    March 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  5. jonny

    how important is music in helping to solve some of the world's problems?

    March 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  6. Dave Sol

    Dear Becky,

    I was following the news since the earthquakes in Japan took place, yet no one, and I repeat it, no one mentioned anything in the news. in CNN about our US Base in Okinawa. There people who live there too, Americans and Japanese,am I missing something?


    March 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  7. Keira

    I'd like to ask Mark, how can we convince the people in charge of the importance of music/arts programs with all the massive budget cuts & austerity measures happening globally? Music seems to be one thing many people have in common, yet it's one of the first programs to get the ax.



    April 5, 2011 at 4:06 am | Reply
  8. omar said(kgt)

    it's a great thing done by mark johnson....i would kindly like to ask mark to expand and visit,,tanzania republic in east africa..there is talent here,,we would love to collaborate ...playing for change..

    April 21, 2011 at 7:25 am | Reply
  9. marilou barriquand

    Naive of being a young artist musician, i thought of working hard to be heard...but then...i'm so confident to let those people to have me manipulate...european music production become a very dangerous business for lot's of small artists like me...we are taken advantage by those who are professional one than us...i would think of getting intouch with a person, who really listens and analyse the personal anguish of an artist...

    If Only I...Black Butterfly...youtube
    Lonely People and many more...MySpace.com

    Thanks a lot for your comorehension

    April 21, 2011 at 7:52 am | Reply
  10. James Egan

    For Mark Johnson: Mark I ordered 2 "songs around the World DLX' cds by mistake from your Playing for Change web site. I have contacted Playing for change, UMG and Topspin support several times to ask to wxchange the 2 cd/dvd for "songs around the world PFC2. Even exchange & I pai postage. I can get NO help from anyone. Topspin says too bad, UMG says contact Topspin and "Playing for Change" where I paid WILL NOT RESPOND. Customer service is NO service. Will you please HELP. Jim Egan jegan6@twcny.rr.com (607) 272-6506

    June 24, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Reply

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