The Egg will present the Pete Seeger Centennial Concert on Thursday, May 23 at 7 PM as part of its “New York Living Legacy” series.
Likely the best known folk singer of all time, Pete Seeger’s career as a musician was highlighted by great popular success with the group The Weavers and songs such as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Turn, Turn, Turn” and “If I Had a Hammer”; Grammy Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award, a National Medal of Arts, induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame; and author of one of the most influential instrumental instruction books ever published “How to Play the 5-String Banjo.”
He used his music to further social, humanitarian and environmental causes – most notably in the founding of the Clearwater in an effort to save the Hudson River, and one of his closest musical associates Arlo Guthrie will be joined by a baker’s dozen of artists including Amythyst Kiah, Cary Morin, Dan & Claudia Zanes, Dar Williams, David Gonzalez, Guy Davis, Richie Stearns & Rosie Newton, Taina Asili, Tony Trischka, Toshi Reagon and Bill & Livia Vanaver – that are keeping his message alive for an evening of music, dance and poetry inspired by Pete Seeger in celebration of his centennial.
Tickets to the performance are $25 and $35 and are currently available at The Egg Box Office at the Empire State Plaza, by telephone – 518-473-1845 or on line at www.theegg.org. Net proceeds from the concert will benefit the Clearwater, Caffe Lena and WAMC Public Radio.
Arlo Guthrie has become an iconic figure in folk music with a distinguished and varied career spanning almost sixty years. The son of troubadour Woody Guthrie, Arlo grew up surrounded by artists such as Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – and Pete Seeger. Not surprisingly, Arlo drew from these influences and he in turn created his own legacy – in particular with his story-song “Alice’s Restaurant.” Arlo remains a road warrior, touring almost constantly, alone or with friends and family. Since the first time he performed in public in 1961 at the age of 13, and after almost 60 years of shows, Arlo Guthrie, now in his 70s, has become an American elder—a keeper of the folk flame. Arlo and Pete Seeger created a legendary collaboration that was sustained for over forty years. The last Pete & Arlo show was in November 30, 2013 at Carnegie Hall, only a few months before Pete passed away at the age of 94.
Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is only matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. Performing interchangeably on banjo and guitar, Amythyst combines her scholarship of African-American roots music with her ability to cross the boundaries of blues and old-time music to forge an important path from her musical ancestry to a multi-cultural generation with contemporary sensibilities and undeniable flair.
Cary Morin’s music – often characterized as acoustic Native Americana – brings together a variety of musical traditions with deft fingerstyle guitar and vocals that alternately convey melodic elation and gritty world-weariness. Cary uses his inimitable style – rooted in the blues – to revitalize folk standards and to explore the lives of Native Americans today.
Dan Zanes occupies a unique place in American music–where folk tunes, sea shanties, English Music hall, play party songs, the spirit of early rock-n-roll, soul, and West Indian music collide. For the past 15 years, he has toured the world, sharing handmade 21st century social music with enthusiastic crowds of kids and kid sympathizers. More recently Dan has joined forces with Haitian-American jazz vocalist Claudia Zanes to further expand his reach into world music traditions.
Dar Williams’ career began in the New England folk scene of the mid-1990s and has since become one of the premier singer/songwriters of her generation – with a unique flair to deliver her messages with a plain-spoken, heartfelt and insightful perspective. In addition to her musical pursuits, Dar is an outspoken advocate for women in music, green touring and using song to promote social justice.
David Gonzalez is a storyteller, poet, playwright, musician and public speaker. A cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department, David has received International Performing Arts for Youth “Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustained Excellence.” In 2009 David was commissioned to write a long form poem for the Hudson River Quadricentennial– and will recite excerpts from that work – “Oh Hudson!” – as they relate to Pete Seeger.
Guy Davis – musician, author, teacher and film, television and Broadway actor – is a Renaissance man, with the blues remaining his first and greatest love. Guy has released a string of acclaimed acoustic blues recordings and accompanied Pete Seeger on his final official tour in 2008.
Richie Stearns brought the old-time clawhammer banjo style to a whole new audience with the bands Donna The Buffalo and The Horseflies, and has accompanied artists such as Natalie Merchant, Bela Fleck, David Byrne, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Joan Baez. For over 20 years, Richie performed with or for Pete Seeger on numerous occasions, and was invited to score original music for an album that featured Pete telling his life story over a music background. Violinist Rosie Newton – daughter of cellist Abby Newton – grew up immersed in the rich folk music scene of Woodstock, NY and has since become a fixture at clubs, concert halls and festivals performing with a number of American and Celtic string bands. As a duo, Richie & Rosie perform an intimate blend of original compositions, fiddle tunes and folk songs.
Taína Asili is a New York based Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, bandleader and activist carrying on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Dedicated to using her art as a tool for personal and social transformation, the themes in Taína’s writing are based in her activism in political prisoner liberation, prisoner justice, climate justice, and food justice movements.
Tony Trischka is considered to be the consummate banjo artist of our time and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians – he was Bela Fleck’s banjo teacher – and the many voices he has brought to the instrument are documented on more than 25 recordings well known for both their virtuosity and diversity.
Toshi Reagon is a one-woman celebration of all that’s dynamic, progressive and uplifting in American music. A versatile singer-songwriter-guitarist – Toshi (named for Pete’s wife) has moved audiences of all kinds with her big-hearted, hold-nothing-back approach to rock, blues, R&B, country, folk, spirituals and funk.
Bill & Livia Vanaver – founders of the folk dance troupe The Vanaver Caravan will perform an excerpt from their Pete Seeger inspired work “Turn, Turn, Turn.”