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FOLK ARTS & CULTURE: Traditional Music & Dance

Remembering PETE SEEGER 1919–2014

Pete Seeger
Photo: Martha Cooper



It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of friend and longtime New York Folklore Society member Pete Seeger. Pete contributed in many ways to the conversations and discussions of the Society. It was not uncommon for us in the New York Folklore Society office to receive periodic postcards with words of encouragement or praise—always signed “Pete” and sporting his trademark hand-drawn banjo. This written correspondence could be for a journal article which he particularly appreciated, congratulations on a Society-sponsored program, or an idea for the Society to pursue.

Postcard from Pete Seeger

His unannounced visit to the New York Folklore Society’s offices on May 12, 2013, before his Schenectady appearance at the the Eighth Step Coffeehouse, was unfortunately our last exchange with this folk music legend.

Pete Seeger’s involvement in the Society dates to at least the early 1950s, when he frequently attended and performed at New York Folklore Society conferences and gatherings, or contributed to our journal, New York Folklore Quarterly. He was always quick to draw one’s attention to someone other than himself, and his support for up-and-coming artists is legendary among folk musicians. He lived his convictions and was a model for us all. He will be missed.

—Ellen McHale, NYFS Director




These traditional music & dance web pages were developed with support of New York State Music Fund, administered by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. These music pages are still in development. Please enjoy and come back again, as we continue to expand this section.



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