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Seeger Fest Adds Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins

by Sam D'Arcangelo on July 15, 2014

Seeger Fest, a five-day celebration of late folk icon Pete Seeger, will begin this Thursday, July 17 in New York City. The free memorial will feature eight different events, will speeches by Harry Belafonte and Michael Moore, and performances by a variety of artists including Judy Collins, Amanda Palmer, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary, Fred Hellerman of The Weavers, Holly Near, Steve Earle, Anti-Flag, Dar Williams and DJ Logic, among others.

The opening concert will be held at Hudson River Park's Pier 46 in Greenwich Village at &:30pm on July 17. The one-time event will feature performances by The Chapin Sisters, who will be joined by Kristen Graves, Adira & Alana Amram and others. After the concert, there will be a screening of the Emmy award-winning documentary Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. The film chronicles Seeger's life as a musician and acitivist and includes interviews with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Arlo Guthrie and more.

Seeger Fest will also feature two other large scale events. At 4pm on Sunday, July 20, A Memorial Concert for Pete and Toshi Seeger will take place Lincoln Center Out of Doors. The show will include performances by Collins, Yarrow, Near, Williams, Hellerman, the Paul Winter Consort and many more. Harry Belafonte will also speak at the concert.

The next day, Seeger's grandson (and Seeger Fest organizer) Kitama Cahill-Jackson will team up with Belafonte's daughter Gina Belafonte to produce and host New Songs of Justice: An Evening Honouring Pete Seeger. The event will include performances by Palmer, Anti-Flag, Earle, Rebel Diaz, Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root and others. The show will take place at 6pm at the Central Park SummerStage.

There will also be few smaller memorial events through the five-day festival. On Friday, July 18, people will have the opportunity to remember Seeger at the Bardavon Opera House, a historic theater where Seeger played hundreds of benefits over the years. Friends, neighbors, colleagues and relatives of Seeger will speak at the memorial, which is set for 7pm.

On Saturday, July 19, four different communities that were near and dear to the Seegers will host one-time events that honor the husband and wife. There will be a film and photography exhibit on Manhattan's Upper West Side, a community festival in the South Bronx, song circle and potluck supper at the Beacon Sloop Club in Seeger's hometown of Beacon, NY and a square dance at the Ashokan Center in The Catskills.

Seeger Fest is the only memorial to Pete and Toshi Seeger that is being put on by members of their family.

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