A month from now the streets of Princeton will be alive with music. The 7th Annual Princeton Traditional Music Festival begins on Friday August 15 at 6:15 p.m. with an opening ceremony and a participatory dance on Veterans’ Way. On Saturday and Sunday there will be music from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. right in downtown Princeton.
As in the past, this year’s Festival will feature musicians from near and far. One of the most reputable performers this year comes to us all the way from New England. Jeff Warner from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, sings traditional American and English folk songs. He is among the America’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music. His songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages and mountaintops of the US connect 21st century audiences with the everyday lives – and artistry – of 19th century Americans. Providing more than just rich entertainment, Jeff leaves listeners with a deeper appreciation of the way people lived in the past.
If you have ever heard the song, “Hang Down You Head, Tom Dooley”, it is thanks to the work of Jeff Warner’s parents. Frank and Anne Warner traveled through the US in the mid twentieth century collecting songs. They met Frank Proffitt in 1937 and he sang them the Tom Dooley song. The Kingston Trio learned it from Frank Warner and made it popular. As a child Jeff travelled with his parents and grew up hearing hundreds of traditional singers sharing their songs. As an adult he edited his mother’s book, Traditional American Folk Songs: From the Anne and Frank Warner Collection. He is also the producer of the two-CD set, “http://www.appleseedmusic.com/timeriksen/herbrightsmile.html” t “_new” Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still, the Warners’ recordings of rural singers, many of them born in Victorian times “The scion of one of the nation’s most eminent families of folksong collectors,” Stuart Frank, the Senior Curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, says of him, “Jeff Warner represents a tradition that is fundamentally unbroken since preindustrial times”.
A Folklorist and Community Scholar for the New Hampshire Council of the Arts, Jeff was named a 2007 State Arts Council Fellow. He has recorded for Flying Fish, Appleseed and Wildgoose Records. Jeff’s traditional songs, rich in local history and a sense of place, present the latest news from the distant past. Jeff will be joined onstage by Bruce MacIntyre.
Jeff Warner is just one of the new performers who will be participating in this year’s Traditional Music Festival. The best thing about it is that it’s free – no admission is charged. It is run entirely by volunteers including the musicians. If you would like to find out more, visit the Festival’s website at www.princetontraditional.org.
If you’d like to help out at the Festival the committee would love to hear from you. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-295-6010.