Archive for January, 2010

A Banjo Head for Haiti

January 27, 2010, 3:50 pm
A Banjo Head for Haiti
New York Times

Pete Seeger, the tireless folk troubadour and environmental advocate, isn’t among the pop artists featured on the “Hope for Haiti Now” fund-raising CD. He is, however, lending his voice — and his beloved banjo — to the cause.

Mr. Seeger has put his banjo head on the eBay auction block to raise money for environmental work in Haiti.

The banjo head is ringed with the words “This machine surrounds hate and causes it to surrender,” a motto inspired by one of his folk heroes, Woody Guthrie, who had painted his guitar with the words, “This machine kills fascists.”

Pete Seeger performed at the Obama inaugural celebration concert in January 2009.The well-worn head had been on his banjo for more than 30 years and was in his hands when he played Mr. Guthrie’s classic “This Land Is Your Land” with Bruce Springsteen at a concert before President Obama’s inauguration.

R.J. Storm, Mr. Seeger’s longtime banjo repairman, and Mr. Seeger said the auction proceeds would go to the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who started an environmental movement that has planted 30 million trees in Africa. Mr. Seeger said he hoped Ms. Maathai could teach her land restoration methods to the people of Haiti.

The auction, which ends on Friday, has drawn 17 bids. As of this posting, the top bid for the item was $4,350.

Mr. Seeger also raised at least $19,000 for Haiti at a concert event sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Hope in Ossining, N.Y. CNN iReport posted a clip of Mr. Seeger on stage with Tom Chapin at the event.


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Pete Seeger Banjo Head Auction

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John Seeger Dies at 95

John Seeger

John Seeger, born February 16, 1914, for decades a Bridge-water resident, died January 10th in New Milford after a short illness. He was a popular teacher at the Dalton School in Manhattan in the 1950s and served as principal of the Fieldston Lower School in Riverdale, N.Y. from 1960 to 1976. He and his wife, Eleanor purchased Camp Killooleet, a residential summer camp in Hancock, Vt., and ran it together for more than 50 years as a place where they could implement their philosophy of education and child development. He retired from teaching in 1976 and divided his time between Bridgewater and Hancock. He inherited the Bridgewater house, his father and aunt had lived in since 1959, and like them enjoyed walking the roads and pathways of town. His wife, Eleanor, who died in 2003, was a member and officer of the Garden Club. John was active gardening, running camp and organizing lunches of friends. John and Eleanor were members of the choir of the Bridgewater Congregational Church and singing was one of the great joys of his later life. For years his holiday cards were sketches of buildings in Bridgewater, including the store, the school, the library and both churches. He is survived by a brother, Pete Seeger; two half-sisters, Peggy and Barbara; a son, Anthony; a daughter, Katherine (current Director of Killooleet); and two granddaughters, Elizabeth and Hil�ia. Celebrations of his life will be held at 2 on Sunday, February 14 at the Congregational Church in Bridgewater and Saturday, August 28 at Killooleet Camp. In lieu of flowers, donations for summer camp scholarships may be made to the Seeger Bartlett Foundation, P.O. Box 1, Hancock, VT 05748.

Published in News Times on January 17, 2010

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Seeger to Play Martin Luther King Day Benefit Concert on January 18th

January 13, 2010

Seeger to play MLK day benefit concert

Fishkill folk singer Pete Seeger will perform Monday in Kingston at a benefit for a program that helps men adjust to life after prison.

Kim and Reggie Harris, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, Bill and Livia Vanaver & Caravan Kids, the Ulster County Community Outreach Choir, Woodstock Jewish Congregation Youth Choir, New Progressive Baptist Church A Cappella Choir and Cantor Robert Cohen will also perform at this Martin Luther King Jr. Day concert.

The performance at the Pointe of Praise Family Life Center, 243 Hurley Ave., Kingston, is a benefit for Save Them Now, which helps men, who are not convicted sex-offenders, following their release from jail or long-term drug treatment programs, as they return to Ulster County.

Suggested minimum donation for admission is $10. Passes are available in advance.

For information, contact the New Progressive Baptist Church at; or the Ulster County Religious Council at

Also, Seeger will attend a small fundraiser dinner party following the concert.

Admission is $150 per person, or $200 for two people.

Contact for information.

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Pete Seeger sings Sunday, January 17th, in Ossining to benefit Haitian survivors

January 15, 2010

Pete Seeger sings Sunday in Ossining to benefit Haitian survivors

OSSINING — Pete Seeger is holding a concert at 4 p.m. Sunday to benefit Hope for Haiti at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center, 299 N. Highland Ave., Ossining. The performance also is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Hope.

Singer and songwriter Jan Phillips will join Seeger for the concert. All proceeds will go to aid Haitians suffering from the recent earthquake and its aftermath. Information:, or call 914-941-4455.

Donations also can be send to Dominican Sisters/Hope for Haiti, 299 N. Highland Ave., Ossining, N.Y. 10562.

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