Boston Celtic Music Festival in Harvard Square

Boston Celtic Music Fest
January 6 and 7

BCMFest offers concerts and participatory events at three different Harvard Square locations, all within easy walking distance of one another. And there are parades throughout the festival. The festival also marks the start of the Harvard Square Business Associations Winter Carnival.

BCMFest 2012 kicks off Friday, January 6, with an evening concert Roots and Branches at Club Passim and another edition of the Boston Urban Ceilidh – BCMFest’s exciting Celtic “dance party” with live music and social dancing from Celtic traditions — at The Atrium (fourth floor of 50 Church Street). The festival continues on Saturday, January 7, with DayFest -performances during the day at Club Passim and First Parish Church (Massachusetts Avenue and Church Street), and concludes with a grand finale concert at 8 p.m. in First Parish Church. You can count on a Parade Friday night from the Kickoff Concert to the Boston Urban Ceildh and more parades Saturday.

The other news related to BCMFest this year is that they will now operate as a program of Passim reaffirming a successful and longstanding relationship between Boston’s premier showcase for Celtic music and dance with one of the most venerable and storied music institutions. BCMFest will continue to be a grassroots, community-oriented effort that showcases the rich trove of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic and Celtic-inspired music in the Greater Boston area.

BCMFest Kick-of Concert and Parade-“Roots and Branches”
Friday, January 6, 7pm
Club Passim -47 Palmer Street, Harvard Square
Tickets are $28 ($25 for Passim members)- includes admission to the Boston Urban Ceildh
Fun, fresh take on Celtic music from North America to Europe and back again with a diverse roster of special guests. The diverse and talented house band, consisting of Eden Forman (fiddle/vocals), Abbie MacQuarrie (fiddle/feet), Jefferson Hamer (guitar/vocals), Neil Pearlman (piano, mandolin) and Nic Gareiss (feet), will be the anchoring force of the concert. Featured special guests will include Kimberely Fraser, Grave Van’t Hof, Emerald Rae, Hanneke Cassel, Siobhan Butler and some secret RAD musicians. This concert should not be missed. The concert culminates with a parade from Club Passim to the Boston Urban Ceilidh.

Boston Urban Ceilidh- BCMFest’s Celtic Dance Party
Friday, January 6, 8pm
The Atrium – 4th floor of 50 Church Street
Tickets available at the door- $15, $10 for children and teens
The Reiner Brothers 8pm-Andy and Eric expertly combine Irish, Cape Breton, Quebecois, New England and old-timey music to get you moving on the dance floor. Dave Eisenstadter will do the calling.
Triple Spiral 9pm-Pulsating Celtic music with focus on Brittany and the Scottish Isles and Highlands. They will lead Breton dances to boot.
Neil Pearlman and Friends BUC Style 10pm- Think “contra dance meets mosh pit” — Hanneke Cassel will get everyone out there on the floor and show you how it’s done.

BCMFest’s DayFest
Saturday, January 7, 10:30am
Club Passim and the First Parish Church in Cambridge (corner of Mass Ave and Church St. Harvard Square)
$15/$13 for Passim members
$5 for age 15 and under
Performers at Saturday’s “Dayfest” include: Hannah Sanders & Liz Simmons; Katie McNally & Eric McDonald; Kyle Carey; Highland Soles; Ken Perlman & Jim Prendergast; Bob Bradshaw; Corvus; Chasing Redbird; Fellswater; Neil Pearlman’s Scottish Infusion; The Deadstring Ensemble; Triple Spiral; Amanda Cavanaugh & Nic Gareiss; NØÍR; The Whiskey Boys; Dylan Courville, Wells Burrell & Bob Jennings; and Adrienne Howard & Emily Peterson
Additional highlights of DayFest include :
Bawdy Breakfast 10:45am-Songs of love, lust and laughter by Dall-i-ance (Lynn Noel, Lynn Feingold, Anabel Graetz and Deborah Goss)
A Tribute to Nic Jones 11:30am-A set of songs made popular by one of the folk revival’s most influential singers/instrumentalists, led by Nic Gareiss and Bill Wiegandt
Cirque De Celtique 4pm -While a trapeze in the sanctuary is unlikely expect a three ring circus of music, juggling and comedy more.
McThriller 4:45pm – Willie Jean, The Lass in the Mirror, and other Celtic Renditions of the Songs of Michael Jackson
ALSO IN THE ATTIC at Day Fest”The Children’s Corner”-Entertainment for the (much) younger crowd, with storyteller Joe Keane; singing with Hannah Sanders & Liz Simmons; trad songs for wee ones with Bridget Fitzgerald & Shannon Heaton; and a hurdy-gurdy workshop.

BCMFest Grand Finale Concert
Saturday, January 7, 10:30am
First Parish Church in Cambridge (corner of Mass Ave and Church St. Harvard Square)
$15/$13 for Passim members
$5 for age 15 and under
The Saturday finale concert will be masterminded by deadstring duo of Matt Heaton and Flynn Cohen, virtuosos on guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, who will be joined by some of Greater Boston’s most notable Celtic musicians, singers and dancers from Boston’s Celtic music session and concert scene including Tina Lech (fiddle), Ted Davis (flute), Katie McNally (fiddle), Sean Clohessy (fiddle), James Hamilton (flute), Joey Abarta (Uilleann pipes), Kimberly Fraser (fiddle) and Maeve Gilchrist (harp, keyboards). In addition to playing with the guest musicians and as a duo, Heaton and Cohen —
both of whom play guitar, bouzouki and mandolin — will appear at the concert as part of their most well-known musical collaborations: Heaton with his wife, Shannon (Irish flute,
whistle and vocals); Cohen with his “alt-trad” band Annalivia, which blends traditional Irish, American and English folk music with original materia.