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The Living Tradition Home Page

What is The Living Tradition?

The Living Tradition is a non-profit organization working to support and preserve traditional music and dance in Southern California.  We host contra dances and contemporary and traditional folk music concerts at the beautiful Anaheim Downtown Community Center at 250 E. Center St., in Anaheim, California We also host traditional music jams.  Jams are now held as SPECIAL EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. The location will be specified for each jam.

All of our events are family-friendly and are open to the public.  Admission prices for dances and concerts are modest, and children under 18 years are free with a paid adult.  Bring your friends, make new friends, get some exercise (dancing), or just relax and enjoy traditional American music.

Note that our schedules are subject to change.

Our Concerts  

The Living Tradition concert series presents international and local artisans of contemporary and traditional folk music for a modest cost in an intimate setting.  Our Covid policies are listed below.  Usually the recommended donation is $25 per person ($20 with the Living Tradition membership). Here are some of our scheduled concerts, which start at 7:30 PM in Anaheim:
Feb. 17, 2024 Our February concert has been cancelled.
Mar. 16, 2024 TBA
Apr. 20, 2024 The MacMammals provide an eclectic Celtic, British Isles, and North American acoustic music experience.

Click here to see additional concert information.

Concert reservations are recommended. Call (714) 926-8244 (cell phone accepting voice or text messages), or send an e-mail to livingtraditionconcerts@gmail.com

Our Dance

Our contra dances allow folks of all ages to dance to live music and enjoy easy-to-learn traditional dance - without a partner.  Usually the recommended donation is $15 per person; $12 for Living Tradition members and full-time students.  Our upcoming dances have a new schedule and now include a potluck.

Potluck starts at 5:30 PM.  Dance lesson starts at 6:10 PM.  Dancing starts at 6:30 PM.

Covid Policy:  Masks optional at all our events. 
See our Covid-19 policies below for additional details.
Feb. 24, 2024 Our February dance has been cancelled.
Mar. 23, 2024 Caller: Andy Shore
Contra Capers (Belinda Thom, James Flaherty, and Cheryl Ooten)
Apr. 23, 2024 Caller: Andy Shore.
Band: Interfolk (Kriss Larson on accordion, Jim Garner on fiddle & mandolin, and Aimee Aul on flute)

Click here to see additional information about our dances.


Our Jams

Our traditional music jams bring musicians (and singers) together in a relaxed atmosphere where all levels and talents are welcome, including those who simply want to hear traditional music or song.

Jams are held as SPECIAL EVENTS.  The location and time will be specified for each jam. 

Click here to see additional information about our jams


Our Covid-19 Policy

Our Covid protocols are intended to promote the health and safety of our community.  As of July 1, 2023, masking is optional but is encouraged at all our events.  In addition, a Covid vaccination and booster are not required, although they are recommended.  Attendees at our events must:

Click here to view our Covid Policy webpage.


Special Events

The Living Tradition also supports a variety of special events, which now includes our jams. 

Click here to see additional information about Special Events.

Membership: Why Join The Living Tradition?

Your annual membership dues are important and very appreciated!  Please help The Living Tradition continue to present outstanding music and dance at affordable prices by offsetting some of our overhead expenses, such as equipment maintenance, insurance, and event promotion.  Benefits of membership also include discounts at all our 3rd Saturday concerts and 4th Saturday contra dances.

Note that all our memberships expire at the end of each year (December 31st ).

The prorated membership dues vary, depending on when you join:


Quarterly Prorated Membership Dues

Membership Type

Jan-Dec 100%

Apr-Dec 75%

Jul-Dec 50%

Oct-Dec 25%












To become a member:

  1. Click here to download The Living Tradition membership application form (PDF).

  2. Print and complete the form.

  3. Send the completed form and a check (made payable to The Living Tradition) to the address listed on the form. 

Click here to see additional information about membership on our Membership page.

Thank you for your support.


More About The Living Tradition

Founded in 1982 by Carolyn Russell, The Living Tradition is a group of people bound together by the desire to share traditional music and dance.  The Living Tradition brings us a sampling of today’s brightest traditional music entertainers, provides family-friendly, community-oriented contra dances, and hosts popular monthly jams.

Go to Our History page to read A Brief History of The Living Tradition written by Patty McCollom, and to view a transcription (PDF file) of James Hutson's 1995 interview with Carolyn Russell.

Our contra dances provide an evening of fun – without a partner or formal instruction.  These dances are fun, good exercise, and build a sense of community with other contra dancers.  Many fine bands have graced our dances, and well-known dance “callers” provide lively prompting.  Bring your friends, make new friends, get some exercise, or just enjoy the lively sounds of traditional music.  Our dances are beginner-friendly because each evening begins with a group lesson, and the actual dances are explained and prompted by the “caller”. 

The Living Tradition concert series  presents international and local artisans of contemporary and traditional folk music nearly every month in the beautiful Anaheim Downtown Community Center.  These intimate concerts are reasonably priced and a great way to get together with friends or meet new friends.

We also sponsor regularly scheduled music jams to provide a forum for those who play an acoustical instrument, sing, or simply enjoy listening to traditional music and song.  Our jams are open to all levels and talents, and offer an opportunity for anyone who loves traditional music to participate in a relaxed atmosphere. 

The Living Tradition is all of this and more.  We serve as a catalyst for the preservation and promotion of traditional music and dance and ensure that traditional music, dance, and song will thrive for years to come.

To see this article about The Living Tradition, with more details about our history and concert series, go to the January / February 2001 issue of the FolkWorks newspaper and scroll down to page 13.

Special Thanks Go To . . .  

The Living Tradition extends sincere thanks to John Davidheiser for designing and implementing the original format of The Living Tradition Web site. 

Thanks also go to Tim Steinmeier, who designed The Living Tradition logo.

“A Bit More About Us” was written by Ellen Swope (and updated by Mindy Belli).


Visit The Living Tradition on Facebook.