Peter Yarrow to perform at Calumet Theatre

CALUMET – While many may know him from their childhood, Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame will be playing to people of all ages when he steps upon the stage at the Calumet Theatre Friday.

Yarrow attributes his success to the fact that his music is not a fad and is based not on style, but on substance.

“It’s really about telling a story and sharing your thoughts and hopes and dreams,” Yarrow said. “It’s unique in that regard.”

But despite being well-known as a performer for children, Yarrow considers himself to be an adult performer that plays for both children and adults alike.

“We’ve always had a multi-generational audience,” he said. ” When my children were little I would sing in their classrooms, not just to entertain but to open their hearts up and have a dialogue about things that are meaningful.

Nowadays, Yarrow usually performs solo, but is occasionally accompanied by his son or daughter. But despite the number of years he has been performing, he doesn’t feel it has lost its spark or magic.

“It’s even more magical now,” he said. “It’s more intimate.”

For those who are looking to relive part of their youth, Yarrow will be performing such hits as “Puff, The Magic Dragon” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.” However, Yarrow said there is more to the music than just taking a look into the past.

“This music is very much alive, particularly when it is incorporated about movements such as fracking and climate change.”

Yarrow also recently sang to 100,000 people about the effort to prevent the elimination of collective bargaining.

“This music is contemporary and has great contemporary value because it gathers people together and gives them the impetus to move and make sure we don’t leave the decision making to the corporate entities,” Yarrow said.

In addition to bringing back memories and singing songs of social importance, Yarrow will also be promoting Operation Respect and the “Don’t Laugh At Me” program, which aims to teach kids about bullying and the dangerous and often tragic repercussions that can result from it.

“The central effort of my life is focused around Operation Respect,” Yarrow said. “It’s my belief that if we can operate from the heart, we will be able to make a better policy (about bullying) and have a more equitable and fair society.”

Yarrow said that children also need to break the cycle of meanspiritedness and ridicule that is so prevalent in today’s society and Yarrow believes he can accomplish this through song.

“When children sing together they form a strong community,” he said. “They did that in the civil rights movement. It will add to the impetus to move in that direction. Something has to ignite that passion.”

Yarrow will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 19. Tickets will be $25 and are available now.