Since 1974, Santa Fe TradFest has provided a venue for playing, listening, learning, and sharing traditional music.
The festival is produced by the Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to spotlight and celebrate the many forms of traditional acoustic music in New Mexico and beyond.
A Brief History
Santa Fe TradFest has a long history, beginning in 1974 as the Santa Fe Banjo and Fiddle Contest, and originally run by the Santa Fe Friends of Old-Time Music, later becoming a festival under Southwest Pickers, who in 2016 moved the event to pursue new opportunities. In 2017, through the efforts of long-time festival organizers, the event was brought back to Santa Fe under a newly created organization, Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music. Since that time, the festival has been held at Camp Stoney, a beautiful location at 7855 Old Santa Fe Trail.
Each year, Santa Fe TradFest provides more than 700 people of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to hear music they might not hear elsewhere, to network and learn more about music and music-making, and to be part of a lively and enjoyable community event. It hosts an exciting variety of performers, workshops, hosted and spontaneous jam sessions, camping, food vendors, and kids’ activities. Santa Fe TradFest always presents a rich and diverse array of musical genres, including old-time string bands, bluegrass and traditional country, northern New Mexico Hispanic fiddling, norteño, and conjunto, Celtic, Balkan, Klezmer, and others.
Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music
The mission of the Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music is to spotlight and celebrate the many forms of traditional, acoustic music in New Mexico and beyond.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible by law. Our Federal ID is 82-4749031.
Board of Directors
Haywood Martin, Chair
Ron Hale, Vice Chair
Bill Glaze, Treasurer
Monica Sweeney, Secretary
What Is Traditional Music?
This question has been at the heart of the Santa Fe TradFest since the beginning. It’s handmade music. Music that might be heard on the front porch. At its roots, it's simple music that might have been heard and played around the family hearth.
Santa Fe TradFest features professional performers who have polished that music to a bright shine.
Santa Fe TradFest strives to expand our offerings to a wide variety of acoustic music. At the festival, you can hear old-time, bluegrass, Celtic, Northern New Mexican, indigenous, string bands, Cajun, Klezmer, Americana, roots, gospel, Native American, cowboy singers, Balkan, bagpipes, mariachi, and more.
In Memory of ...
October 11, 1944 – March 27, 2017
Paige Pinnell was involved in the Santa Fe music festival almost since its inception in 1974 as the Santa Fe Banjo & Fiddle Contest, later becoming the Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival. For many years, Paige designed the festival t-shirts and served on the Board of Directors of Southwest Pickers. Paige was the moving force behind reviving the Santa Fe TradFest in 2017, and he was an active participant in the Santa Fe Friends of Traditional Music until his passing in March 2017. We miss him — but his inspiration, the twinkle in his eye, and his voice over our shoulders remain with us. Thanks for everything, Paige.
March 23, 1943 – September 22, 2022
As one of his friends said – there were no strangers to Phil, only friends he had not met. His big bear hug and full-face smile were always welcome. For 47 years, Phil worked tirelessly to produce, first the Santa Fe Banjo & Fiddle Contest/Santa Fe Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival, and later Santa Fe TradFest. At TradFest, Phil could be seen throughout Camp Stoney hauling cases of water or standing beside a food truck sharing stories of past festivals - and everyone knew that the festival post-dinner celebration did not begin until Phil delivered those platters of enchiladas! We miss him but will always smile when we think of him.