Shuswap musicians paid tribute to one of the most prominent singers of the protest music era during the Wildwood Production Group’s Tribute to Pete Seeger concerts.
Seeger began his musical career in the early 1940s as a way to promote views of social justice and equality. He felt the best way to enact change was by having people sing together. He, like others such as Woody Guthrie, travelled the world over with nothing but his voice, a five-string banjo, a guitar, his musical message and stories.
The Wildwood group put their own spin on Seeger’s songs during their performance, sometimes with the powerful vocals of a large group and sometimes with the quiet subtelty of one singer and a simple acoustic guitar.
For the seventh year running, these Shuswap musicians, spearheaded by producer Jake Jacobson, have taken to the stage to perform the works of iconic folk musicians, not only as a way to share the stories behind their favourite tunes but to raise funds for local projects.
Upon hosting the first benefit concert with a Woody Guthrie theme, which raised $1,600 for local food banks, Jacobson and the crew of organizers decided to try it as an annual event to contribute to local causes. In the past, other productions have featured the music of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, as well as Broadway show tunes and Canadian classics. In total, the productions have raised more than $16,000 to contribute to projects in the Shuswap.
There is still one final performance of Seeger’s classic works, hitting the Shuswap Theatre stage at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24.