Traditional music making comeback in Princeton

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival is back for its sixth year this weekend with new and old performers

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival is back for its sixth year this weekend with new and old performers.

“Every year brings something different,” said Jon Bartlett, organizer of the free three-day festival. Past years have featured a variety of cultural themes, from the Scottish songs and tunes of the early founders of Princeton to the music of the eastern European immigrants who settled in the Similkameen.

This year, Bartlett said they are continuing that theme, but travelling farther afield.

“We feature belly dancing, music for the oud (a Middle Eastern type of lute), and we even have a musician from Samarkand in Uzbekistan, who is an expert Qashqar Rubab player,” he said. These musicians join dozens of others bringing Celtic tunes, shanties, Canadian logging, fishing and mining songs, and songs from England, Ireland and Scotland.

The festival takes place in downtown Princeton from Aug. 16 to Aug. 18 with street dance at 6:30 p.m Friday, with music from two bands.

The festival is kept free with all the performers and organizers volunteering their services.

“This is what traditional music is all about,” said Bartlett. “It’s skilled, varied, community-based and free.”

For more information, visit the website at princetontraditional.org.