Peter Yarrow, a Grammy-award winner, has been a long time advocate for social change, reaching back to his involvement in festivals for peace and the 1969 anti-war March on Washington in which some half million people participated. In an effort to combat school violence, he has focused his energy on projects reaching out to youth and communities through Operation Respect, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1999 to combat bullying ridicule and violence in schools. It offers curriculum to children as young as pre-schoolers and continuing through grade school and later.
Peter and his daughter, Bethany Yarrow collaborated on a children's picture book adapting his classic song, "Puff, the Magic Dragon" to print. "Puff, the Magic Dragon," written by Peter and Lenny Lipton is one of the most beloved songs the world around. The book is accompanied with an exclusive CD featuring not only Puff, but several other songs performed by Yarrow, his daughter Bethany, and cellist Rufus Cappadocia. The book made the New York Times best-selling children's book list for 16 weeks.
Public television stations around the country have aired a musical special called "Peter, Bethany & Rufus: Spirit of Woodstock" as part of their pledge drives. The special features a concert of 17 songs and offers an intimate glimpse into Peter's relationship to Woodstock and the famous musical tradition that evolved there. As Peter Yarrow noted recently, "This tradition lies at the core of this TV special which is about much more than music as entertainment. More importantly, this kind of music expresses the passions, hopes and dreams of each passing era. It is a tradition that is now carried forward by Bethany and Rufus, who in many ways define the cutting-edge of folk music in the world of today." Peter, along with Bethany and Rufus, will personally host selected public television station pledge drive broadcasts.
As "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Blowin' in the Wind" meet the music of Bethany & Rufus, Peter is pulled into the vitality of today's roots-music perspective, now fused with elements of contemporary jazz, groove and world music. Special guests appearances by Bethany & Rufus' friends from around the globe make for brilliant instrumental exchanges featuring Mady Koyate on Malian kora, Bonga Jean-Baptiste on Haitian percussion, and Chuck Campbell of the renowned Campbell Brothers on pedal-steel. A convergence of vision and song emerges as Peter comes full circle to celebrate his early dreams, now transformed and carried on by the next generation.