In addition to introducing our participants and some themes of this year’s inaugural festival, this concert will showcase the evolution of Irish and Scottish music as it made its way to America through emigration, both to our big industrial cities and to rural North America. Featuring artists from many Atlantic shores, we will trace the seeds of the music, songs and even dances, starting from their most authentic ‘pure drop’ form. From there we will follow the music into Canada, the Maritimes, down through French Canada and the New England coast, entering the dance halls of America and further into the hills of Appalachia, illuminating the evolution into what is often referred to as ‘old time’ music today.
Hosted by Maeve Gilchrist and Brian O’Donovan with
Mick McAuley (accordion, guitar, whistle), John Doyle (guitar, vox) and Oisin McAuley (fiddle); Bruce Molsky (fiddle) & Allison de Groot (banjo); Dana Lyn (fiddle, guitar) and Kyle Sanna (guitar): The Seamus Egan Project with Moira Smiley; Jenna Moynihan (fiddle) and Mairi Chaimbeul (harp), dancer Kevin Doyle.
About the Rockport Celtic Festival
Exploring Celtic Roots & Branches
Brian O’Donovan & Maeve Gilchrist, artistic directors
For over three decades, Brian O’Donovan has been hosting A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH, a program exploring traditional and contemporary music from around the Celtic world. He’s also well known for his live concert series A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, as well as many other presentations around New England. In partnership with Rockport Music and working in close collaboration with fellow Artistic Director, Edinburgh-born harpist/composer Maeve Gilchrist, Brian is proud to present the first annual Rockport Celtic Festival- Exploring Celtic Roots and Branches. Featuring a wide and quite extraordinary variety of new and familiar musicians, singers, dancers, and storytellers, the weekend will focus on the genre’s broad and vibrant range with a strong emphasis on crossover and collaborative work between musicians from different genres including classical, jazz, and American Traditional. This will be a dynamic and interactive weekend featuring mainstage concerts, workshops, intimate salon-style sessions in our third floor space, and much more.
In addition to Maeve and Brian, the Festival will feature: Mick McAuley and John Doyle (both early members of the groundbreaking band Solas), Oisin McAuley (Danú), Bruce Molsky & Allison de Groot (fiddle, banjo, voice and regarded as one of the top Appalachian duos playing today), Palaver Strings (full 13 piece chamber orchestra), composers Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna, The Seamus Egan Project with Moira Smiley, fiddler Jenna Moynihan and harpist, Mairi Chaimbeul, singers Eamon O’Leary and Jefferson Hamer (The Murphy Beds), dancer Kevin Doyle, and more.
This will be a gathering rarely, if ever, seen before.