Deborah “Spice” Kleinmann, Arts Integration Educator & Performing Artist
I am a product of the second wave of folk music. My mother learned to play the guitar to accompany the singing she did with her kindergarten children she taught in Brooklyn, NY in the 1950’s. She was turned on to Pete Seeger at this time in her life along with Malvena Renolds, Joan Baez, and Odetta to name a few. Even before I was born I knew “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and “If I Had A Hammer.” My mother was proud of me when in third grade I performed around a campfire for the first time and sang, “This Land Is Your Land.” I really don’t remember learning how to play….. It was in the air and all around me and I soaked it up. When I got applause I liked it a lot!!!!
I never imagined that I would one day be on stage with the famous Pete Seeger in a small town in New York somewhere on the Hudson River. I was blessed to be given the chance to sail up and down the river on The Clearwater Boat for 10 years during the Pumpkin Sails in the fall, singing, eating and sleeping on the boat with other folk singers, entertaining school children in many towns along the way. Pete joined us on stage in the evenings when we performed for the larger communities.
This type of outreach touched my soul and I realized that I wanted to pursue my music and combine it with my educational background to create fun musical educational performances, residencies and experiences for children. My dream has come true and I thank my time on the Clearwater and Pete Seeger’s influence and encouragement for my successes!!
My Tribute to Pete Seeger
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