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Pete Seeger photo
Pete Seeger listens during a 1964 Newport Folk Festival workshop.
Photo by Diana Davies. Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger (1919-2014) was the dean of 20th century folk singers. For over sixty years, up until his passing in January of 2014, he performed powerful songs and lent his energies to causes he believed in. On the hundredth anniversary of his birth, Seeger’s influence and legacy has only grown as the issues he sang about, from labor struggles to environmentalism, have become increasingly urgent. His songs define these cultural and political flashpoints to this day, unique in their ability to offer a stance that is defined by strength, clarity, and compassion.

Pete Seeger listens during a 1964 Newport Folk Festival workshop.
Photo by Diana Davies. Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.

100th Birthday Celebration

On May 3rd 2019, what would have been Pete’s 100th birthday, Smithsonian Folkways is celebrating with the release of Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, a career-spanning anthology of Pete’s life, legacy, and music.

Cover photo of Pete Seeger's box set
Pete Seeger in Beacon, New York, 1965
Photo by Bruce Davidson, Magnum Photos

In the Spirit of Seeger, fans around the country are also planning events and tributes in their local communities. If you are planning any type of celebration, email us – we want to know about it!

The Smithsonian Year of Music is also calling all musicians to participate in a special interactive program.

Pete Seeger Centennial Events


Songs for a Peaceful Planet

Jewish Museum and Cultural Center
Portsmouth VA


Gumbo, Grits & Gravy feat. Anne Harris, Marcella Simien & Guy Davis

Briggs Opera House
White River Junction, VT