Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Remembering Pete and Toshi Seeger: A Musical Tribute."

South Florida Seeger fans and comrades are “Remembering Pete and Toshi Seeger: A Musical Tribute.”
That's Sunday, May 4 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, 3970 NW 21st Avenue, Oakland Park, FL 33309. Doors open at 1:30 for the 2 p.m. performance by many folk  and other artists, with opportunities for audience members to get involved in local causes such as those that dominated the lives of Pete and Toshi.
Folksinger and educator Rod MacDonald, event initiator and co-producer, announced that to date the following artists who have volunteered to donate their talents will be on the program Allan Aunapu, Amy Carol Webb (www.amycarolwebb.com), Annie Wenz (www.anniewenz.com), Ellen Bukstel (www.ellenbukstel.com), Grant Livingston (www.grantlivingston.com),  Laurie Jennings (www.jenningsandkeller.com), Marie Nofsinger, Rod Koppelman, Rod MacDonald (www.rodmacdonald.net), Tracy Sands (www.tracysands.com), Vanessa Gilyard.
Net ticket proceeds will be donated to furthering Seeger-aura social changes.                             
Pete Seeger's life and career carried him from singing in support of the Spanish Republicans and CIO organizing in the prelude to World War II to initiating hootananies as rent-pay parties. From warding off fascist and vigilante attacks at a Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, NY, to the Top Ten on the Hit Parade with the Weavers.  From college auditoriums, summer camps and folk festivals to building an environmentally-correct log cabin on the Hudson River.  From a conviction (overturned) for Contempt of Congress for invoking the First Amendment in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee to becaming the backbone of the 1950's folk revival. While being blacklisted for decades, he popularized We Shall Overcome in the civil rights movement, initiated a remarkable environmental movement to reclaim the Hudson River, finally receiving public acclaim, remaining active in local Beacon musical and civic causes. He performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with Bruce Springsteen at a Barack Obama inauguration concert.
He  will be remembered and revered for his inimitable capacity throughout his life successfully to elicit the Meek and the Mute of all ages, races, religions and politics, in and out of tune and key, to sound  out lustily and sometimes courageously, in multi-part harmony, for Peace, Justice, Ecology, Equality and Internationalism.
He was the posthumous recipient of the first Woody Guthrie Prize for best exemplifying Woody's spirit and life's work by speaking, and singing, and organizing for and with the less fortunate through music… and serving as a positive force for social change.
Pete was recognized with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Harvard Arts Medal, Kennedy Center Award, Presidential Medal of the Arts and membership in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
As important – and hopefully as a basis finally for that recognition, Pete with and without Toshi, appeared at a myriad – over 3000- small group meetings, demonstrations and concerts pro bono public around the world  to promote social justice causes. Until well into his 90s, he hand-wrote responses regularly to his thousands of contacts.
Behind, ahead of, and next to him for almost all his adult life was Toshi Aline Ohta Seeger- dancer, manager, filmmaker specializing in folk music, producer and environmental activist.
Toshi attended Manhattan's Little Red Schoolhouse and graduated from NYC's The High School of Music and Art in 1940. Six years into their marriage she and Pete moved in 1949 from Manhattan to Beacon, New York to a log cabin without running water or electricity. The foundation of Pete's personal and professional success, she took part in the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. In 1965-66 she produced and directed -”Chief Cook and Bottle Washer”- a public tv series Rainbow Quest, hosted by Pete, and in 2007 executive produced the PVS documentary Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, an Academy Award recipient.
Toshi and Pete in 1966 co-founded The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and its annual Great Hudson River Revival/Clearwater Festival, to rally public support for cleaning up the Hudson River. Under Toshi's direction, of course with a cohort of activist supporters, the festival's innovations included providing sign language interpreters, wheelchair access, recycling programs, massive volunteer participation and a prominent Activist area. The festival, this year June 21-22, started as picnics to fundraise to build the Sloop Clearwater.
Some Performer (per 4/14/14) bio’s
Alan Aunapu
Amy Carol Webb
Annie Wenz: Activist Singer/Songwrier/RN has stomped her dusty musical boots in 25 countries. Her journeys are all about community, the heart of music and the little things that bring us together in  celebration.
Ellen Bukstel: An activist in the truest sense, her fundraising music videos have collectively helped to raise close to $100m for community causes such as Housing the Homeless and Assisting Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Rights.
Grant Livingston: With four CDs of original songs to his credit, Grant also teaches songwriting at Miami-Dade College and helps to coordinate the South Florida chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association.
Grant  was recently part of the Lake Worth Theatre's tribute to Pete Seeger.
Laurie Jennings
Marie Nofsinger
Rod MacDonald
Ron Koppelman
Tracy SandsVanessa Gilyard: is a native Floridian and has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale and its choir  since 2007. She's  been influenced by Pete Seeger's music since she was five years old as a former member of the United Methodist Church, and has been performing and competing in singing competitions and performing in the orchestra since middle school. fallenangel3769@hotmail.com and 954-683-0498