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.


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