Peoples’ Voice Cafe Tribute to Pete Seeger on April 12, 2014

One of the more endearing performances (SPOILER ALERT – the young daughter of the singer Joel Landy with another young friend steal the show, but he still manages to do a rousing job) at the Peoples’ Voice Cafe Pete Seeger tribute sing-along this past Saturday night. It was a wonderful evening with many great folk/protest singers on stage and over 200 people joining in. Margaret Pinskiy and I mixed and miked the show.

Happy Birthday, Pete Seeger!

Pete Seeger celebrates his 93rd birthday today, and his musical legacy continues to ripple through the headlines, from Norway, where tens of thousands gathered to defiantly sing one of his children’s song to rebut the evils of hate and intolerance, to New York City, where hundreds of guitarists marched and sang some of the traditional folk songs he celebrated through his historic musical career.

The Occuponics had the honor of marching with Pete when he marched from 92nd Street to Columbus Circle back in October 2011 to express his support of Occupy Wall Street. We learned a lot about what it takes to keep the music happening on a long march, actively appliy these lessons to our work with Guitarmy, a project loosely affiliated with the OWS Music Group.

Thanks to the wonderful friend and folksinger Steve Suffet for turning us onto this great video taken of Pete Seeger in Melburne, Australia, back in 1963. As Steve points out, this video captures Pete doing what he does best: getting a lot of people to sing great solidarity-building songs together.

Occuponics: A Little Night Music from Occupy Wall Street

On Friday, October 22, The Occuponics performed a long set of music at Zuccotti Park (AKA Liberty Square), and were informed by a friend that one of their heroes, Pete Seeger, would be appearing uptown at Symphony Space and might even lead a march down to Columbus Circle to express solidarity with OWS. So although the band was very tired, they journeyed uptown and were on site when crowds began forming outside the theater where Pete was performing.

Taking advantage of the fact that a large throng of people had gathered but no music could be heard at that time, they played Paul Stein’s “The Occupy Wall Street Song” several time before a highly receptive audience. A few minutes later, people began emerging from the doors and the march began forming. This large procession of some 1,000 people began moving peacefully down Broadway, with police guiding the throng so that vehicular traffic would not be encumbered. Pete Seeger called out the songs, and our spirits were lifted when we saw the 92-year old Seeger making rapid progress towards Columbus Circle accompanied by friends, family, and musicians.

Marching with Pete Seeger was an inspiring experience for the band, and several songs performed on the march, including “This Little Light of Mine,” “Ain’t Going To Nobody Turn Us Around,” and, of course, “We Shall Overcome,” found their way into the band’s repertoire.