IMPORTANT NOTICE: During this time of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concern, most concerts, jams and meetings have been cancelled. Check with the event contact before attending and check these pages for recent updates. All of us at AFTM hope that you and your friends and family are staying well.
Welcome to Austin Friends of Traditional Music
AFTM Cancels the 2020 Austin String Band Festival
Regretfully, the board of the Austin Friends of Traditional Music (AFTM) has cancelled this year's Austin String Band Festival. This festival, normally held on the third weekend in October at Camp Ben McCulloch, has been a labor of love for us and we certainly intend to continue it when circumstances permit. Camp Ben McCulloch is currently closed and will remain closed until all Covid-19 related restrictions are lifted, according to their board. This is unlikely to happen anytime soon. We will hold our next festival when public health officials and our board deem it safe to resume this activity with minimal or no restrictions.
Along with the rest of the world, we hope for an effective solution to this crisis well before this time next year so that we can all go about our business - including making great music with our friends at the festival!
Best wishes, keep picking, and stay safe.
Most truly yours,
The board of AFTM
Celebrindal Roberts is the recipient of our annual $200 scholarship for young students of Traditional Music. She will study clawhammer banjo under Evie Ladin thorough the Peghead Nation online courses.
Celebrindal started her musical life at 8 years of age, studying classical violin and went on to play viola
professionally in orchestras, chamber music, and theatre. She loves the culture of traditional music and has taken up bluegrass fiddle and mandolin. Her next goal is to progress in clawhammer banjo.
The AFTM channel on YouTube now features a series of interviews conducted by our Reel Times editor Gary Mortensen. The latest interviewees include:
- Eddie Collins
- Ben Hodges
- Rose Griffith
- Tim and Angie Wooten
- Terry and Chris SoRelle
- Celebrindal Roberts
- James Seppi
- Lee Thomas
Watch them all on the Reel Times playlist.
More are in this works! To subscribe go to our YouTube channel page.
AFTM Speaks Out on Racism
Standing in solidarity with the Black community and all people of color, we, the AFTM board, affirm that Black lives matter, and we reject racism and white supremacy. We commit to:
- Emphasize the spirit of inclusion at AFTM events, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or citizen status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, or military status.
- Reflect and correct our own practices, policies, and biases to ensure we promote just and fair treatment for all people.
- Contribute to a spirit of unity within our community through connection, education, tolerance, and music.
Adopted by the AFTM board June 14, 2020
Reel Times Special Issue May 2020
The May 2020 special issue of our Reel Times newsletter is here. This issue focuses on how we can keep our music alive during the pandemic, with an in-depth feature by Chip Bach on "virtual pickin'".
See all issues of Reel Times on the Newsletters Page.
AFTM Meeting and Jam
The AFTM monthly jam is on hiatus due to COVID-19. Board meetings continue via video conference. Use our contact form for more information, questions or concerns for the board.
Cabin Fever Tunes
In order to keep musicians employed and the rest of us entertained, our friend Beth Chrisman has created a directory for streaming concerts and artist support,
We are so greatful to Beth for this service to all of us in these dreary times. Be sure to visit the Cabin Fever Tunes Facebook page and consider a contribution to her work.
Each year the Austin Friends of Traditional Music awards a scholarship to promising musicians and dancers, 30 years of age or younger, who wish to further their studies of old time music and dance.
In years past we have supported our scholars to attend the Swannanoa Gathering’s Old-Time Music and Dance Week. Since the Swannanoa gathering has been canceled this year we will instead support these young musicians to further their study through on-line courses and lessons.
On Line Singing and Picking
During the COVID-19 empidemic some of our regular jams and song circles have gone on-line using Zoom video conferencing. Too bad, we can't really jam together over Zoom but we can take turns performing and listening. Not the same thing but it is fun. The following sessions have now gone on-line:
- Terry's Song and Tune Circle, each Saturday at 4pm
- Celtic Song Session, first Sundays at 2pm
- Stone Soup Session, third Sundays at 2 pm
Click the following link to register to get the video conference links in your email:
On that same page you'll also find links to articles by Chip Bach and Terry SoRelle explaining how you can enhance your on-line music making.
See and hear past sessions on our YouTube Playlist.
Remember the good old times? They'll come again! Meantime, join us on line.
Regretably, most and probably all the events, jams and dances listed below have been suspended due to COVID-19. We are keeping this schedule here in anticipation of better days to come when our dancing and music making together will resume.
Upcoming Concerts and Events
Click the title or picture for details
Kids in a New Groove
Kids in a new groove (KING) combines the power of mentoring with music instruction by providing private, in-home, music instruction to Central Texas youth in foster care.
Volunteers are needed! Apply here.
Click title or picture for details
Jam Sessions and Song Circles
New Location for Rio Rita Jam
The long time home of the jam, Rio Rita Lounge, is no longer available, but the jam continues on! Big thanks to the Aristocrat Lounge for giving the jam a new home, at least temporarily, just in our hour of need.
The jam continues every Tuesday at 7:30 until late, All skill levels are welcome. The tunes are still raging and the drinks are still cold. And a food truck can be found in the back. Come by and check it out!
Aristocrat Lounge, 6507 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 7875
See our Facebook page
Click the title or picture for details
Fourth Saturdays, 7pm-10pm
Friends Meeting of Austin, 3701 E Martin Luther King