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At Living Traditions, musicians honor their roots, branch out

Music » Maura O’Connell, Mariachi Divas, De Temps Antan and The Relatives are musical highlights of 28th annual free festival.



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Closing out the festival on Sunday will be The Relatives, a gospel group led by the Rev. Gean West, a pastor in Dallas.

At a glance

2013 Living Traditions Festival

This three-day cultural festival, now in its 28th year, features ethnic food, children’s crafts, bocce, and more than 40 music and dance performances.

When » Friday, May 17, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, May 18, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, May 19, noon to 7 p.m.

Where » Salt Lake City & County Building, 450 S. 200 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets » Free admission

Features musical acts » May 17: Mariachi Divas, multicultural, all-female ensemble, 8:30 p.m.; May 18: De Temps Antan, Quebec folk, 7 p.m., and Maura O’Connell, Irish -American folk, 8:30 p.m.; May 19: The Relatives, psychedelic gospel, 5:30 p.m.

Details » livingtraditionsfestival.com

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The Relatives have an interesting back-story. The group was formed more than 40 years ago, but found little success because audiences in the late 1960s and early 1970s were more interested in "traditional-sounding" groups, West said. So it disbanded.

It was rediscovered recently by music fans who scoured record bins for the band’s long out-of-print releases.

West said The Relatives, who reunited in 2009, were ahead of their time, weaving the new sounds of psychedelia and funk into their music, and early audiences who came in expecting traditional gospel were disappointed.

"We enjoyed all types of music, and put it into the music we had," he said. "At the time we were performing, we weren’t as kindly received as we are today."

dburger@sltrib.com

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