Tommy Sands to Perform at Pete Seeger's
90th Birthday Concert at Madison Square Garden

Tommy Sands joins Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder and over 40 other artists at Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday concert celebration. The Clearwater Concert: Creating the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders, is a one night only concert event that will be held on Sunday, May 3, at 7PM, at Madison Square Garden. This once-in-a-lifetime concert will benefit and raise awareness for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, founded by Pete Seeger, which strives to preserve and protect the Hudson River.

Tommy and Pete Seeger’s relationship goes back about 30 years and endures to this day. "Pete is like a great oak that we all gather around for shelter, wisdom and inspiration,” says Tommy.

Both legendary folk singers, political activists and powerful songwriters, it was only inevitable for the two to cross paths. When they did, their creative natures forged one of the most powerful songs in all of Ireland, the “Music of Healing.”

What started as a song turned into so much more. Tommy and Pete Seeger penned the pivotal verses that have been used to set the stage for political harmony, again and again.

Somehow this cycle of vengeance keeps turnin'
Until each other's sorrows and songs we start learnin'
Peace is the prize for those who are daring
Time is your friend it cures all your sorrows
But how can I wait till another tomorrow
One step today and a thousand will follow
Sing me the music of healing

"We did it because politicians had difficulty in meeting," says Tommy. "We used music to create an atmosphere of neighborliness and humanity; to generate an atmosphere for politicians who normally couldn't talk to each other at all, to come together."

And it worked. Sinn Fein party members interacted positively with members of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the two warring political parties in Ireland.

After its success in 1995, The Music of Healing has become the title of the annual political seminar where voice and instrument create a platform for the progress of peace.

In 2008, at the Creative Arts Award ( a Lifetime Achievement Award for Artists in Ireland), the power of song both Tommy and Pete invest in was evidenced again. Many pivotal Irish figures gathered to pay tribute to the year’s honoree, Pete Seeger. Among the attendees were (pictured below with Tao and Tommy Sands) Geoffrey Donaldson of the DUP (left) and Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein (on right) who represent the opposite extremes of the Northern Ireland divide.

For these two men, with such differing ideals, it is politically impossible to share a handshake in public. Yet, they are together singing, "Where have all the Flowers gone" with Tao Rodríguez-Seeger and Tommy Sands. The event aired on the 6 o'clock news in Ireland.

After Poet Laurate Seamus Heaney learned Seeger would be honored, he wrote a few verses that illustrate the power of Pete’s music and lyrics:

Pete Seeger's singing has fulfilled the high classical expectation that poetry be both sweet and helpful. His art managed to take the strain of his activism, the banjo in his hand was his hammer of justice, and his music was more than equal to the music of what happened.

Join the concert audience in a celebration of the music of what happened.
The evening, hosted by Clearwater, will focus on ensemble renditions of musical treasures inspired by Pete Seeger.

American Express pre-sale tickets will be available starting Monday, March 23 at 9AM. Public on-sale will begin Monday, March 30 at 9AM ET. Tickets are available via and range from $19.19-$250, with a majority priced at $90 to honor Pete’s birthday. Special Clearwater Legacy Tickets will also be available. For more information, please visit

Confirmed artist lineup, subject to change: Tommy Sands, Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet,Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Del McCoury, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Billy Nershi (String Cheese Incident), Larry Long, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Cockburn, Michael Franti, Richie Havens, Bela Fleck, Bruce Springsteen, Mike & Ruthy Merenda, Scarlet Moore, Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Dar Williams, Native American Indian Cultural Alliance, Silvio Rodriguez, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews, NYC Labor Chorus, Steve Earle, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Vedder, Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers), Taj Mahal, Emmylou Harris, Guy Davis, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Tom Chapin, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Joan Baez, Tom Paxton, John Mellencamp, Juanes, Tony Trischka, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Toshi Reagon, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Kris Kristofferson