Since 2008

Princeton Traditional Music Festival


Festival Notes

July 24

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival is only one and a half weeks away and Festival organizers are getting excited about the upcoming fun. The Festival kicks off on Friday, August 17 with an opening ceremony on Veterans’ Square at 6 pm followed immediately by a participatory street dance. No experience is necessary and you don’t even have to bring a partner as there’s sure to be somebody there to swing you off your feet. On Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19 there is non-stop music from 10 am until 6 pm on three stages right downtown. And it’s all free!

One of the new groups performing at the Festival this year is a quintet who is joining us all the way from Mexico. Based in Guanajuato, RevoluSon is made up of five very talented young musicians from various regions in Mexico including Vera Cruz, Oaxaca and Morelos. RevoluSon was started by singer León Méndez in about 2007 and has gained steam as the ideal group came together to share their passion for traditional Latin American music. Included in their diverse repertoire are many original pieces composed and arranged by León Méndez and Miguel Mendoza. They are very active members of the musical community in Guanajuato, participating in numerous cultural events, television appearances, collaborating with other local artists and touring the state. The goal is to deliver authentic, high energy dance music to suit any stage or audience.

RevoluSon plays music from throughout Latin America including Cuba. Cuba is a very multi-racial country with people tracing their lineage back to Spanish, Indigenous and African slave ancestry. This cultural mix is what makes Cuban music so rich and vibrant. One type of Cuban music performed by RevoluSon is Son cubano, a genre of music and dance that originated in the highlands of eastern Cuba during the late 19th century. Son cubano blends Spanish and African music. The lyrical singing style and the type of guitar playing have Spanish roots and the rhythms and the call-and-response structure are rooted in African Bantu music. When these traditions are brought together the result is a kind of musical exaltation.

RevoluSon also plays Changüí, a style of Cuban music that originated in the early 19th century. It came out of the sugar cane refineries and in rural communities populated by slaves. Like Son cubano, Changüí combines Spanish and African musical traditions, resulting in a rhythmic-melodic feast. Changüí is considered one of the predecessors of modern salsa, which enjoys tremendous popularity both in Cuba and throughout the world. RevoluSon will surely have you dancing in the street!

The person responsible for bringing RevoluSon to the Traditional music Festival is Michelle Cormier from Vancouver. Michelle has performed several times at the Festival with the groups Los Portenos del Norte and Los Portenos del Mundo. She is a musical facilitator who explores the links between distant musical cultures - through guitar playing, percussion, singing, performance, and education. As director, instructor and administrator of School of Groove, Michelle takes students on an exploration of the musical traditions of Cuba, Brazil, parts of Africa and around the Caribbean and is currently developing the program in Guanajuato, Mexico. It is through this program that RevoluSon comes to be performing at the Traditional Music Festival. We thank Michelle for all her hard work and for bringing exciting Latin American music to Princeton.









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The Festival

Admission is FREE.  Events are held on several stages in the centre of Princeton and begin on Friday evening with a public street dance and an Irish ceili band. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday there's a potpourri of concerts, workshops, and jams.

The Scene

This event is primarily for and about the performers. Traditional Music lacks venue in the west, so players, singers, dancers, and fans are willing to travel in order to meet up. Professional performers are making personal sacrifices in order to be here, but the many people who come just to listen attests to the unique value of this event. For those new to the Festival please have a look at the Our Story page to learn about how it started and what Traditional Music means to us.

Tuba bell

The Place

Nestled among rolling hills of ranchland, the little town of Princeton is the gateway to the Okanagan. About 300 km from Vancouver, it is the first town after Hope along the Crowsnest Highway. Summers are hot and dry - just what we like for our festival which takes place mostly in the streets.

Donate

In addition to the sponsors, this festival is primarily supported by hard work and artists who perform for free. However, we aim to pay for artist's meals and at least part of their transportation costs. Please consider contributing in order to help maintain this important cultural event.

Become a Member

You can support the continuing operation of the festival by buying a $10 membership.

Volunteers

Every year we need a stage crew, MCs, office staff, and many other important helpers. If you want to be part of this exciting event in this way, please let us know. volunteers@princetontraditional.org

Vendors

We encourage the sale of food, crafts, art, and more at the Festival. Please contact the Vendor Coordinator. vendors@princetontraditional.org

Sponsors

Funding for the Festival comes from donations, as well as grants from the Town of Princeton, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the Province of British Columbia, and the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program of Canadian Heritage.

We thank you all!

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