The Princeton Traditional Music Festival is just over a week away and we hope we’ll see you all there. The Festival begins on the evening of Friday, August 16 with the opening ceremony followed by a country dance on Veterans’ Way beside the Legion. The dance will feature a live band with fiddle, guitar and concertina. Everyone is welcome. There will be a caller to teach the dances so no experience is necessary and people don’t even need to bring a partner. On Saturday and Sunday there will be music from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. right in town.
As always there will be a big contingent of Celtic musicians at the Festival. Besides their concerts, these musicians will all be getting together for the Irish jam on Sunday afternoon at the Festival.
One of the Celtic groups is Blackthorn, a Vancouver-based folk group who is here for their second appearance at the Festival. The group’s repertoire celebrates the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada. From lively jigs and reels to heart-wrenching airs and ballads, savour the melodies and intricately woven harmonies that bring this music to life in a new way, mixed with humour and, above all, fun. The group was formed in 1989, which makes it one of the longest-running Celtic groups in the province. Members of the group are multi-instrumentalists who will have your toes tapping to Celtic tunes and your heartstrings pulled with songs.
We also welcome back Claddach from Kelowna for their fourth appearance at the Festival.
Claddach sings traditional and contemporary songs that illuminate social and/or political aspects of the human condition. Sometimes they choose a song just because they like it and it’s fun to sing with others. They also play Celtic tunes for dancing, hoping to encourage people to get up and dance.
A new Celtic group this year is Et Tu Fluté, which consists of Irish flute players Brad Hurley and Becky Deryckx. Brad began playing traditional Irish music in the 1970s and has played for dances, concerts and festival workshops all around the east coast.
He appears as a guest musician on five CDs and is currently working on a duo CD with Roscommon fiddler Ellis Crean. He has also developed a popular website on the Irish flute at www.firescribble.net/flute. Becky is a more recent addition to the Irish musical tradition. She plays primarily in pub sessions in the Pacific Northwest but travels regularly to the east coast and to Ireland to expand her understanding of the music. Brad was one of her early mentors and they have remained close friends ever since.
These are just three of the many Celtic groups appearing at this year’s Festival, and the best thing about it is it’s free!
The reason it’s free is because it’s run entirely by volunteers and the performers are donating their talents. To make the festival a success the organizers will need lots of volunteers. If you’d like to get involved, please contact them. Even if you have only a couple of hours available your help would be most welcome. Give them a call and they’ll welcome you aboard.
To find out more visit the Festival’s webblog at princetonfestival.org or give Jon and Rika a call at 295-6010.