Our next Covenant Series Concert – Saturday, February 27
Click HERE for details.
Sneak Peak VIDEO.
FUNDRAISER – Click HERE for details!
Dear Friends of Bluegrass and Traditional Music,
Forty one years ago a group of Old Time and Bluegrass musicians formed the NM Friends of Traditional Music and held the first Santa Fe Fiddle and Banjo Contest. That original organization grew and officially incorporated in the State of New Mexico as The Southwest Traditional and Bluegrass Music Association (SWT&BMA) in 1989.
The single-day Fiddle and Banjo contest moved to different locations, added concerts and dances and eventually grew into the three-day Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Music Festival. While the Santa Fe festival has been an artistic success, it has rarely been a financial success. It didn’t need to be. For many years the SWT&BMA received a donation from a private Foundation in addition to several grants from NM-based organizations. That income allowed the festival to operate at a loss. The private foundation ceased operations several years ago and the number and size of the grants received decreased. As the financial support deceased, the costs associated with renting festival grounds, stages, sound systems, sanitary facilities, chairs, tables and obtaining insurance, security and garbage removal increased. It has reached the point where it is no longer feasible to host a three-day festival at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds. As some unknown philosopher once said, “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”
While we search for a suitable, cost-effective venue, we’re going retro. This year we will host a smaller event that focuses on those activities that drove the founders of this organization and that directly promote traditional and bluegrass music in our communities; contests, workshops, and public performance.
NM is a large, sparsely populated state and we’re committed to entering into a long-term partnership with a supportive community. While we plan for the future of the Southwest Pickers please keep attending the Covenant Concerts, keep sharing the music, and watch for the announcement of this year’s restructured annual festival. We appreciate the financial, moral, and musical support you’ve provided and we look forward to another 41 years.
President Southwest Traditional and Bluegrass Music Association