The Boston area’s only winter-time Celtic festival will once again make a warm-weather appearance when Club Passim in Harvard Square hosts the third Summer BCMFest on July 2, featuring 12 hours of some of the best local Celtic music.
Summer BCMFest is fashioned after the annual BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest), a weekend gathering held each January to celebrate Greater Boston ’s richness of music, song and dance from the Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic traditions.
This year’s Summer BCMFest will begin with a special Celtic edition of Club Passim’s Live Music Brunch from 10:00AM – 2:00PM Passim launched Live Music Brunch earlier this year, offering diners the chance to enjoy brunch accompanied by live music from the stage of the historic Cambridge listening room. Each brunch will feature a different style of music including Bluegrass, Old Time, Blues, Celtic, Classical, Folk, Jazz and more. The Celtic Brunch will feature a performance by traditional Irish music trio Daymark. There is no cover charge for Live Music Brunch
From 2:30-5:00PM, the music moves outside to Palmer Street (directly adjacent to Club Passim) for a free concert with Keltic Kids, The Rockport Celtic Duo and Alba’s Edge.
Summer BCMFest 2017 concludes with a ticketed evening performance in Club Passim with Daymark and Scottish/Cape Breton-style fiddler Katie McNally.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
The international trio Daymark is made up of Will Woodson (flute, border pipes), Eric McDonald (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Dan Foster (fiddle). The trio infuses traditional Irish music with infectious energy, raw power, and Northern swagger through a classic blend of wind and string. Their sound carries echoes of Irish-American dance halls from the 1920s and 30s, the lonesome tones of Donegal country fiddlers and the rollicking smoky pubs of Northern England’s immigrant neighborhoods. Boston native McDonald has appeared frequently at BCMFest and venues across New England over the years in numerous collaborations, including with Woodson, who in addition to his musical work is an established pipemaker (he uses an instrument of his own making). Foster has developed his music through Northern English sessions, studies at Newcastle University, and under the tutelage of master musicians in Limerick.
Keltic Kids are a group of young musicians from Cape Cod, who play a variety of Celtic music. Their instructor, Clayton March, founded the band to help them establish a foundation for lifelong love of traditional music, and to develop an understanding of its social aspect. The Keltic Kids, who made their BCMFest debut at this past January’s festival, have performed at numerous concerts and farmer’s markets, as well as the annual Yule For Fuel benefit.
Sisters Elizabeth and Mary Kozachek, known as The Rockport Celtic Duo, have been playing traditional Celtic music for years and have been dancing the music even longer than they’ve played it. Elizabeth (fiddle, Anglo concertina) and Mary (fiddle, mandolin, keyboards) have traveled to County Clare as part of a music exchange, and medaled at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in Irish music and dance; Mary has also medaled at New England Scottish fiddle competitions. The duo – which performed at BCMFest 2017 in January – has shared the stage with the likes of great Cape Breton musicians like Mairi Rankin and Mac Morin.
Alba’s Edge defines its sound as “a tapestry of cultures”: the expressive melodies of Scottish fiddle music woven together with jazz improvisation and harmony, funk bass lines and the rhythms of Latin America. The band (Neal Pearlman, keyboard and mandolin; Lilly Pearlman, fiddle; Doug Berns, bass; Jacob Cole, drums and percussion) has performed at the New World Festival, the Crossroads Celtic Festival and the first international Celtic Music Festival of Mexico. Among its past BCMFest appearances, Alba’s Edge was the producer and lead act of the 2016 festival’s concluding Nightcap concert, “Changing Currents: The Next Wave of Celtic Music in Boston.”
The vibrant musical traditions of Scotland and Cape Breton take on new life in the hands of fiddler Katie McNally and pianist Neil Pearlman. Based in Boston and Portland, ME, this musical couple is making waves internationally with their fresh approaches to traditional forms. Their recent album “The Boston States” has drawn rave reviews from listeners and critics alike.
Tickets for the Summer BCMFest evening concert with Daymark and Katie McNally are available online at www.passim.org, by phone at 617-492,7679 (9:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Monday – Friday) or at the box office 60 minutes prior to the start of the show. Club Passim is located in Harvard Square at 47 Palmer Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. For more information about Summer BCMFest, visit passim.org/BCMFest.
The mission of Passim is to provide truly exceptional and interactive live musical experiences for both performers and audiences, to nurture artists at all stages of their career, and to build a vibrant music community. We do so through our legendary listening venue, music school, artist grants and outreach programs. As a nonprofit since 1994, Passim carries on the heritage of our predecessors-the historic Club 47 (1958—1968) and for-profit Passim (1969—1994). We cultivate a diverse mix of musical traditions, where the emphasis is on the relationship between performers and audience and teachers and students. Located in Harvard Square, Passim serves Cambridge and the broader region by featuring local, national and international artists. Our ultimate goal is to help the performance arts flourish and thereby enrich the lives of members of our community. For a complete schedule, visit www.passim.org
BCMFest was born after Laura Cortese (Scottish fiddle) and Shannon Heaton (Irish flute) realized that recently they had seen many great, traditional Celtic music acts playing it the area; they thought it would be exciting if more of the Boston-area trad players worked with local folk music venues like Club Passim, the Burren, Johnny D’s, and the Canadian American Club. Soon after their talk, Laura and Shannon began planning a weekend-long showcase of local traditional talent—a Boston Celtic Music Fest to celebrate the rich, diverse pool of traditional music and dance in the Boston area.
The festival has become a hub for generating ideas, energy, and community support for local, traditional Celtic music and dance performers. In 2011, BCMFest became an official program of Passim. Today, in addition to the annual festival in January, audiences and artists can enjoy monthly concerts at Club Passim that feature a broad selection of Boston-based Celtic music and dance acts. In 2015, Summer BCMFest was introduced.