Annual Lennon Tribute And World Music Phenomenon Unite

Hey New York, have plans this Friday? May I inquire discreetly, are you free to take some tea with me, Jackson Browne, Patti Smith, Martin Sexton, Aimee Mann, Cyndi Lauper, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo,' Joan Osborn, Meshell Ndegeocello, and a few others...?

The artists will be taking part in the 30th Annual John Lennon Tribute this Friday at the Beacon Theater. According to Theatre Within, the host of the tribute, the first event was spontaneous gathering held not far from the place Lennon was shot:

It began just down the street from the Dakota, in Billie Holiday’s old music studio, which was then home to Theatre Within, an experimental theater workshop. A small group of performing artists and their friends were drawn together by John Lennon’s senseless murder. An emotional evening of song, dance and theater, that first gathering in John’s memory was an instinctive outpouring of sorrow and grief. Since then, the Tribute has transformed into a joyful celebration of the life, music and creative spirit of John Lennon.

The proceeds from this year’s show will benefit the Playing For Change Foundation, an organization that provides facilities, supplies, and educational programs to musicians and their communities around the world.

Playing for Change is a grassroots musical phenomenon unto itself, fielding an All-Star band that is currently touring the U.S. and Canada. It boasts 169,000 fans on Facebook, a total that dwarfs those of many top touring bands. They'll serve as the house band at the Lennon Tribute, and then continue on their tour including a show the next night at New York's Center for Ethical Culture. Playing for Change

The band and the non-profit foundation trace their roots back to 2004, when filmmakers Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono traveled around the world recording musicians covering the same song each in their local style. Here’s their treatment of Ben E. King’s "Stand By Me."

& here is Lennon's own cover of the song

Tickets to Theater Within's Tribute to John Lennon can be purchased through Ticketmaster.