Jul 29, 2014

Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger Dies, Was to Accept Woody Guthrie Prize

Seeger was an Avon Old Farms School Class of 1936 alumnus.

Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger Dies, Was to Accept Woody Guthrie Prize

Sadly, the  New York Times is reporting that Pete Seeger has died at age 94.

Original story 

An Avon Old Farms School alumnus who  recently was a nominee at The GRAMMYS has the honor or receiving another prestigious award. 

Pete Seeger '36, a "folk singer and political activist," will accept the "inaugural Woody Guthrie Prize" on Sat., Feb. 22, according to a press release from Avon Old Farms. 

The award honors an artist "who best exemplifies the spirit and life's work of folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate through music, film, literature, dance, or other art forms, and serving as a positive force for social change in America," the press release states.

"We hope that the Woody Guthrie Prize will shed an inspirational light on those who have decided to use their talents for the common good rather than for personal gain," Nora Guthrie, daughter of Woody Guthrie, said in a statement. "With his dry wit, Woody always preferred to call himself a 'common-ist.'  His quote from John Steinbeck's character, Tom Joad, says it pretty simply: 'Wherever children are hungry and cry, wherever people ain't free, wherever men are fightin' for their rights, that's where I'm gonna be.' There are so many people who are living this credo, and they're the ones we will be honoring."

In addition to the award presentation, there will be a question and answer session with Seeger and GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. Seeger will perform with Woody's son, Arlo Guthrie. Tony Trischka is also scheduled to play at the event. 

Representatives of The Woody Guthrie Center, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will present Seeger with the award at the Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City, according to the press release. 

"We are honored to present the first Woody Guthrie Prize to Pete Seeger, whose incredible career pushes the boundaries of how music can make us think, feel and act," said Woody Guthrie Center Executive Director Deana McCloud. "We can think of no better recipient than a colleague, friend and confidant of Woody himself. Pete and Woody are arguably two of the most prolific folk musicians of their lifetimes."

Seeger has captured "social commentary and historical preservation" in over 70 years of making folk music, according to a press release. 

"Seeger's political activism on behalf of both social justice and the environment have encouraged generations of American citizens and musicians to stand up for change, and to do so through song," according to a press release from Avon Old Farms. 

Seeger has previously earned a "GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, a Harvard Arts Medal, the Kennedy Center Award, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, and membership in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," the press release states.

Avon Old Farms also honored Seeger in 2009 as the first recipient of the school's Distinguished Alumnus Award.  

"An American icon in the areas of music, political activism, and righteous causes, Seeger is the living embodiment of America's traditions in folk music and as such has made a distinguished contribution to 20th century American history," the school stated in the press release. 

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