Yusuf / Cat Stevens has teamed up with Playing For Change to record a collaborative, global version of his 1971 hit, “Peace Train”, in honor of its 40th anniversary.
The enduring anthem of hope and unity was originally released on the classic album, Teaser and the Firecat, and was Stevens’ first US Top 10 hit, reaching number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This version, part of Playing For Change’s “Song Around The World” series, features more than 25 musicians from 12 countries.
Alongside Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ performance on a white piano in the open air of Istanbul, we see and hear five-time Grammy Award-winning bluesman Keb’ Mo’; Grammy-nominated Senegalese artist Baaba Maal; Silkroad’s Rhiannon Giddens—also a Grammy Award winner; Ghassan Birumi playing the oud in Ramallah, Palestine; musicians from the Silkroad Ensemble in Rhinebeck, New York; and Pat Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) and James “Hutch” Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt) performing in Maui, Hawaii. The clip also brings together conflict regions as Tushar Lall plays the harmonium in Delhi, India, while Joshua Amjad plays the Kartaal in Karachi, Pakistan.
As Yusuf / Cat Stevens said of the ambitious project, “We are privileged to be able to create a glimpse of unity through music. However, if you want to make the Peace Train real, then you need two tracks: one track has to be Justice, and the other must be Well-being. Everybody should have access to these two things, then the Peace Train can really get going.”
“We’re extremely honored to collaborate with Yusuf / Cat Stevens to create a global ‘Peace Train’ with musicians from around the world,” adds Mark Johnson, co-founder of Playing For Change. “This song’s powerful message is as relevant today as the day it was written, and … we hope that everyone will join us as we stand up for a more equitable and compassionate world.”
Watch the “Song Around The World” version of “Peace Train” below and scroll down for the full list of collaborator credits.
Yusuf / Cat Stevens ft. Keb’ Mo’, Rhiannon Giddens, More – “Peace Train” – Playing For Change – Song Around The World
[Video: Playing For Change]
“Peace Train” Personnel
Adrian Buono (Argentina), Avadhoot Phadke (India), Baaba Maal (Senegal), Colin Jacobsen Silkroad (USA), Eric Appapoulay (UK), Eric Jacobsen – Silkroad (USA), Ghassan Birumi (Palestine), James “Hutch” Hutchinson (Hawaii), Joshua Amjad (Pakistan), Karen Ouzounian Silkroad (USA), Keb’ Mo’ (USA), Kwame Yeboah (Ghana), Olodum (Brazil), Pat Simmons (Hawaii), Playing For Change Foundation (Mali and Argentina), Rahat Inayat Ali (Pakistan), Rhiannon Giddens (Ireland), Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi (USA), Tushar Lall (India), William Barton (Australia), Yusuf/Cat Stevens (Turkey)
Playing For Change is a multimedia music project featuring musicians and singers from across the globe, co-founded in 2002 by American Grammy award-winning music producer/engineer and award-winning film director Mark Johnson and film producer/philanthropist Whitney Kroenke. For more information on Playing For Change, head here.
Other ambitious group recordings which Johnson and Playing For Change have constructed include “Stand By Me”, “La Bamba”, “All Along The Watchtower”, “The Weight” (featuring Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, Marcus King) and “Iko Iko” (featuring the late Dr. John as well as members of The Meters and The Grateful Dead). Head to the organization’s YouTube page to experience more international group performances.