Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Boston Celtic Music Festival on the way

Ireland, Scotland, Cape Breton -- the Boston area has long been a place where these Celtic traditions not only flourish on their own but meet each other. All that is celebrated in the Boston Celtic Music Festival, coming up this year on January 8 and 9. Two events on the Friday kick things off, a concert at the historic Club Passim in Harvard Square, and the Boston Urban Ceilidh, a sort of Celtic dance meets mosh pit high energy fling that’s become a legendary evening of fun, held this year at Springstep in Medford Square. The ceilidh will still be going when the concert’s done, so no need to choose if you’d like to check out both. The festival continues on January 9 with day time performances and workshops at four stages located in Club Passim and at nearby First Church of Cambridge. First Church will also host the BCMFest Finale Concert on Saturday night, which will include performances by Irish singers and players the Makem and Spain Brothers and Cape Breton fiddler Kimberley Fraser.

Over its six year history, BCMFest has emphasized differing themes, ranging from music about the Boston area to Celtic dance to rising young musicians. This year, core traditions is the central idea. In keeping with that, at the Boston Urban Ceilidh one of acts will be a special one-of-its-kind ensemble that will recreate the classic Dudley Street Boston Irish Dance Hall Era from the 1930s to 1950s -- and you can also expect Scottish fiddle meets rock from Laura Cortese and friends. Both of those, in a way, are quite in keeping with the core tradtions of how Celtic music grows and changes.

During the Day Fest on Saturday, there will be plenty of opportunity to participate, with Irish and Scottish music sessions, a performer makeover session for artists seeking advice, and several singing sessions. At these sessions and at workshops and at the concerts, you will hear many fine performers including guitarist Flynn Cohen, the trio Triptych which includes fiddler Laura Risk, bodhran player Paddy League, and dancer Kieran Jordan, Adirondack style fiddle player Cedar Stanistreet, Irish singer Bridget Fitzgerald as part of the recently formed group Bento Boxty, and Cape Breton style band Tri.

BCMFest sprang from a conversation between fiddler Cortese and flute player Shannon Heaton. "During its first six years, BCMFest has reached out to the area's Celtic music community, through the festival as well as events during the year, such as the monthly Celtic Music Monday series at Club Passim and our annual music cruise in Gloucester,” Heaton says of the artist run festival. “Every year we've seen more and more musicians, singers and dancers come up with great ideas and collaborations.” Every year, too, the festival has seen growing audiences and increased appreciation for the music and traditions the artists share.

There’s more information about schedules, tickets, directions to venues, and performers at the festival's web site.

you may also wish to see
Another Fine Winter's Night: Matt & Shannon Heaton

Boston Celtic Music Festival on the way

The Boston Celtic Music Festival, 2008

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Alexandra Grabbe said...

Thanks for posting this information. I will pass it on to several friends in Boston.

4:10 PM  

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