CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) — Music luminaries honored Pete Seeger on the shore of the Hudson River at Saturday's Clearwater Festival, the first of the annual music and environmental program he started to be held after his death.
Folk artists Tom Paxton, Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Dar Williams and others performed together to honor Seeger, who died in January at age 94. Sets were planned centered on music of the Weavers and Almanac Singers, both bands that featured Seeger, and highlighting the banjo, which Seeger frequently picked in concert.
Lucinda Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Thompson, the Mavericks, Norah Jones and Josh Ritter are among the headliners at the two-day festival expected to draw around 25,000 people.
"It's up to us to pass the music on as he intended," Chapin sang in a verse written for the occasion in his song, "One Voice."
Seeger began hosting "folk picnics" in the 1960s to pay for building a boat that would travel on the Hudson to highlight environmental issues. Seeger and his wife, Toshi, who died last July, lived in nearby Beacon, in a home with a spectacular view of a bend in the river.
The informal fundraising concerts became the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival in 1978. In recent years it has settled in a park jutting into the river in this community 35 miles north of New York City and has modernized beyond its folkie roots. With the strong lineup, Seeger remembrances and sunny skies, organizers were expecting their biggest crowd ever.
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