Call for ArtistsGeneral

Play for the Vote

By October 30, 2020 No Comments

Play For The Vote is a musician run initiative mobilizing musicians across the United States to perform on Election Day, with the goal of increasing voter turnout by providing a more positive voter experience. Launched just this month, the organization has already signed up hundreds of musicians in over 40 states, plus the District of Columbia, and last week, announced a production partnership with the famed Silkroad organization to assist in the recruitment.

 

Confirmed Play For The Vote performers, include artists who have regularly performed and collaborated with artists such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Adele, Paul McCartney, The Chicks, Béla Fleck, Steep Canyon Rangers, Stevie Wonder, Yo-Yo Ma, Katy Perry, Roger Waters, Sufjan Stevens, Sting, Brian Wilson, Dionne Warwick, Norah Jones, Mumford & Sons, Michael Bublé, E Street Band, Jon Batiste, Miley Cyrus, Chris Thile, Bon Iver, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Chaka Khan, Deep Purple, Itzhak Perlman, Bobby McFerrin, Allison Krauss, Rhiannon Giddens,The New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Silkroad Ensemble, amongst others.

 

This past Saturday, on National Early Voting Day, select artists performed at early voting polling locations, including the Founder & Director of Play For The VoteMike Block, in Boston, as well as acclaimed violinist Sam Weiser in San Francisco, harpist for the Houston Symphony, Megan Conley, and Paula Johannesen in Chicago. Block and Johannesen spoke about the experience with WGN News in Chicago on Monday – watch the segment here – and Block spoke to the Associated Press from Boston – watch via YouTube.


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Discussing the idea for Play For The Vote, Block stated, “Election Day is shaping up to be pretty stressful for many people, while musicians are struggling to share music in a meaningful way during the pandemic.  November 3 is the perfect opportunity for the musicians of this country to join together to spread the unifying power of shared musical experiences on an unprecedented level. I’m calling on musicians across the country to join me in signing up to perform at a nearby polling location so that we can make voting a more positive experience for the whole country.”

 

Regarding coming on board to assist in the production of Play For The Vote, Silkroad’s Executive DirectorKathy Fletcher added, “The upcoming election is on top of our minds and we want to do everything in our power to encourage voting, as well as to support our musicians during this challenging timeWe are proud to join Mike’s wonderful initiative, which so closely aligns with our longstanding purpose as a social-impact arts organization.”

 

Musicians interested in participating can still sign up via the Play For The Vote website. Upon doing so, they will be asked for their location and availability on Election Day (November 3).  Play For The Votes’ custom software will match each musician with a location/time assignment to maximize coverage on Election Day.

 

Once signed up, artists are encouraged to begin promoting their involvement immediately. And when they receive their precise performance assignment, they can simply treat it like a real gig, and help spread the word.

 

Mike Block and Atlanta-based musician, Christopher King, spoke with Fox News Atlanta this week about the campaign, what it means to them as artists and Americans – watch that segment here.

 

Play For The Vote does not endorse any specific candidate or issues. All performers are welcome. Deadline to sign up is November 1.

About Silkroad:

Yo-Yo Ma conceived Silkroad in 1998 as a reminder that even as rapid globalization resulted in division, it brought extraordinary possibilities for working together. Seeking to understand this dynamic, he began to learn about the historical Silk Road, recognizing in it a model for radical cultural collaboration, for the exchange of ideas and tradition alongside commerce and innovation. And in an innovative experiment, he brought together musicians from the lands of the Silk Road to co-create a new artistic idiom, a musical language founded in difference, a metaphor for the benefits of a more connected world. This initial gathering of artists was rooted in a simple, initial question: “What happens when strangers meet?” And thus, Silkroad was born, as both a touring ensemble comprised of world-class musicians from all over the globe, and a social impact organization working to make a positive impact across borders through the arts.

 

Today, Silkroad creates music that engages difference, sparking radical cultural collaboration and passion-driven learning for a more hopeful and inclusive world. Silkroad artists seek and practice this mission in many forms, creating and presenting new music, teacher and musician training workshops, social impact initiatives, and serving as the home for the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble. Silkroad has recorded seven albums including Sing Me Home, which won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album and was developed and recorded alongside the documentary feature, The Music of Strangers, from Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville.

 

To learn more, please visit silkroad.org and @silkroadproject on social media.