Peter Yarrow brings folk music to Jasper stage

Peter Yarrow will perform at the Jasper Arts Center on Sunday and spend time with local students on Monday.

From local sources

JASPER — Peter Yarrow will play Backstage at the Jasper Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Yarrow is a musician, singer, songwriter,and activist who gained fame when he first performed with the folk music trio of Peter, Paul and Mary in the early 1960s.

Born in Manhattan in 1938, Yarrow attended LaGuardia High School for the Arts and graduated from Cornell University in 1959. He soon connected with Paul Stookey and Mary Travers in Greenwich Village during the middle of the midcentury American folk music revival. They soon had their first charted hit with “Lemon Tree” in 1962, followed by “If I Had a Hammer” and “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” Other hits they recorded in that decade were “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “I Dig Rock and Roll Music,” “Day is Done” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Yarrow also wrote “Torn Between Two Lovers” recorded by Mary McGregor and was nominated for an Emmy for “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” a CBS special. He has won numerous Grammys and has been nominated for many more.

Yarrow’s talents as a creative artist — both with Peter, Paul and Mary and as a solo performer — are frequently directed at using music to convey a message of humanity and caring. He walked with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma, Ala., and Washington, D.C., and participated in the Festival for Peace at Madison Square Garden and Shea Stadium in New York City.

In 1970, Peter conceived and co-organized the New Folks Concert in Kerrville, Texas which continues to this day. This concert is among the most respected platforms in America for launching new singer/songwriters.

Peter believes that “music, penned without commercial intent, the way traditional folk songs were once created, lets people recognize each other’s hearts and can be a vital help in creating a community of caring and mutual acceptance.”

Operation Respect: Don’t Laugh At Me is Yarrow’s most recent endeavor. It is based on his passionate belief that music, with its power to build community, can be a particularly powerful organizing tool as well as a source of inspiration for children. The song “Don’t Laugh at Me” is used to create a climate of respect in the schools of America and serves as an anthem for the growing movement to build safer and more respectful school environments for children.

Yarrow will present his Operation Respect program to youngsters from Ireland and Tenth Street schools at the arts center Monday.


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