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.

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Welcome to Austin Friends of Traditional Music

AFTM supports traditional music and dance from the many different cultures and communities found in Austin and around the world. We encourage playing, learning, dancing, and sharing our musical heritage in its many forms as they evolve with each new generation.

Join AFTM Today!

Reel Times - April 2021

The Spring 2021 issue of our newsletter, Reel Times, features an article about Melissa Carper, Dan Foster's historical article about The Humphries Brothers of Liberty Hill, a preview of the Central Market Mother's Day performance of the Erik Hokkanen trio... and much more. 

See the new issue on our Reel Times Page...

Congratulations Mira!

Mira Dickey is the recipient of our annual scholarship for young students of Traditional Music. 

Mira is a long time friend of AFTM and if you have come to any of our jams and festivals over the last few years you are almost certain to have met Mira. Most recently she has introduced us to the delights of Scandinavian music and especially the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle.  Mira travelled to Norway and spent a year studying Norwegian music, dance and culture. 

She will use her scholarship award to continue her study of Scandinavian music through video lessons on the Folk Music Academy website:

See our Scholarship Page for more information and don't miss her Reel Times interview


Mira Dickey


Interviews by
Gary Mortensen;

Video production by
Chip Bach;

Web site and YouTube channel manager
Terry SoRelle


The AFTM channel on YouTube now features a series of interviews conducted by our Reel Times editor Gary Mortensen. 
Here are the latest interviewees:

See Video
Real Times: Melissa Carper
Meet Austin area musician Melissa Carper talk about her music, her move back to Texas, and her new CD.
See Video
Reel Times: Elizabeth Pittman
Gary interviews a founding AFTM member Elizabeth Pittman.
See Video
Reel Times Interview: Doc Hamilton
Gary Interviews old time musician Doc Hamilton. February 11, 2021

See them all on the AFTM TV Page

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

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.

AFTM Scholarships

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.

See our scholarship page for more information . . .

Swannanoa Festival

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:

Click here to register...

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.

For a calendar of other virtual song sessions in the US, UK and around the world see:
Boston Song Sessions - Virtual Sessions

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

Wednesdays at 7:30-9:45 pm
Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E 41st St, Austin

Contra-dancing for young and old alike.

Third and Fourth Saturdays, 7:15-10:15 pm
Shirley McPhail School of Dance (SMSD), 8018 Mesa Dr., Austin

Dances are taught by our local and guest callers. Suggested donation $6
Dare to Square

Dare 2 Square

A place to find out when and where old-time Appalachian Square Dance happens in Austin.

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

Every First Sunday of the month, 2 to 5pm
The Barn - 6218 Brodie Ln, Austin

A monthly song circle of all music celtic

Third Sunday of the month
Texas Music Museum ,1109 E 11th Street, Austin

A tune and song circle where all types of traditional music are welcome.

Fourth Sunday of the month. Beginners 2 to 3:30, Intermediate 3:30 to 5:00
In homes (click through for information)

Jams for budding musicians young and old

Every Tuesday 6:30 to 10pm
Aristocrat Lounge 6507 Burnet Road

Pick and grin every week.

Every Saturday from 5 pm
St. Roch's Bar, 515 Pedernales St, Austin

A great jam for Cajun fans and everyone!

Fourth Saturdays, 7pm-10pm
Friends Meeting of Austin, 3701 E Martin Luther King

Temporarily cancelled due to COVID-19. Open sing-along sessions using the Rise Up Singing songbooks.

Second Fridays, 7 to 10 pm
UU Church, 4700 Grover

Jam and sing-along using "Rise Up Singing” and “Rise again” songbooks which contain more than 2400 mostly traditional songs.