California Traditional Music Society

Folk and traditional music

The California Traditional Music Society (CTMS) is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of traditional Folk Music, dance, and related folk arts of America’s diverse cultural heritage.  They aim to broaden public involvement with Folk Music, celebrate ethnic traditions, and promote cross-cultural understanding.

The California Traditional Music Society began in 1978 as a small amateur Folk Music club.  Based on public interest and a growing recognition that America’s folk musical heritage was in danger of extinction, the Society was incorporated in 1983 by Clark and Elaine Weissman and a Board of musicians and community representatives, including Barry Cole, Karen Williams, and Flo Daley.

The original goal was the preservation of American Folk Music and instruments.  Increasingly, the Society became a presenter of nationally and internationally respected folk musicians.  Its programming is unique among Folk Music organizations in that it emphasizes teaching as well as performance.  The Society has expanded to include the array of Folk Music forms of more recent American immigrants and to introduce to American practitioners parallel folk traditions still practiced in other parts of the world.

In 2009, CTMS participated in ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program, receiving support for its executive director to attend the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance Conference.