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Who Was Pete Sutherland? What Is Cause Of His Death?

Pete Sutherland
Pete Sutherland: Image Credit- VTDigger

Pete Sutherland, who collaborated with numerous seasoned musicians and guided countless budding musicians, passed away on Wednesday after more than ten years of cancer treatment. He was 71.

His Career

Sutherland was a pioneer in the state’s traditional music culture and well-known for his fiddle prowess and storytelling ballads. He directed Pete’s Posse and performed with The Clayfoot Strutters. Through his work as a teacher for institutions like Young Tradition Vermont, he contributed to the advancement of upcoming generations of Vermont musicians.

Following his passing, Sutherland’s peers commented about his importance to the Vermont music community in posts on social media. Before Pete Sutherland passed away on Wednesday, musicians from all across Vermont and then even Canada made the trip to play their equipment by his bedside. Others uploaded videos of themselves performing Sutherland’s songs online as memorials.

Pete Sutherland: Image Credit- VTDigger

Sutherland was well-known across Vermont even more as a versatile singer, songwriter, and musician who was skilled at the violin in addition to the piano, banjo, melodeon, guitar, and other instruments. He used the state’s medicinal aid in dying act, which permits terminally sick adults to utilize a prescribed drug to accelerate their death, to end their life after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. In addition to Pete’s Posse, The Clayfoot Strutters, Arm and Hammer String Band, and Metamora, Sutherland was a part of numerous other ensembles.

Pete Sutherland Performance

He performed in the area at events including the Capital City Grange’s twice-monthly contra dance night in Montpelier. Additionally, he was a teacher and performer at Young Tradition Vermont, a Vermont Folklife Center-affiliated program that teaches young people to dance and sing. As per Patti Casey, a colleague of Sutherland’s since the 1980s and a musician who played and composed music with him, musicians throughout the country were in “awe” of Sutherland’s musical prowess, particularly with the fiddle.

Sutherland was described by Casey as having a “very, very keen brain” and a constant desire to discover and study new musical genres. About a month before he passed away, Sutherland entered a hospice care program in Montpelier, and Casey visited him frequently. Calum Sutherland, the 32-year-old son of Sutherland, said that strangers would approach him as a child to compliment him on his father’s music.

Sutherland was introduced to North Carolina-based musician Joe Newberry in the 1990s. Sutherland’s “reach went so many areas and he was a musician who could perform in so many various styles,” according to Newberry. Sutherland has served as a mentor to a lot of aspiring musicians. Scanlon, Sutherland, and Tristan Henderson founded Pete’s Posse while Scanlon was still in high school, and Sutherland rapidly became a mentor for Scanlon. Following graduation, Scanlon took a year off and toured the country for 12,000 miles with the band. Scanlon continued to perform with the band despite never enrolling in college.


1. What is the age of Pete Sutherland?


2. When did Pete Sutherland die?

Ans. 31 November 2022

3. What is the cause of Pete Sutherland’s death?

Ans. Cancer

4. Who is the son of Pete Sutherland?

Ans. Calum Sutherland

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