Boston's grassroots celebration of local Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic music will mark its 10th year when BCMFest (Boston's Celtic Music Fest) takes place January 11 and 12, 2013.
The festival will showcase several dozen musicians, singers and dancers, all with ties to the Boston music scene, during the two-day event, which is held in the heart of Harvard Square. BCMFest gets underway on January 11 with its traditional kick-off concert in Club Passim and the Boston Urban Ceilidh -- BCMFest's Celtic dance party -- at The Atrium, 50 Church St. Saturday's "Dayfest" will feature children's and family entertainment at Passim in the morning, followed by an afternoon of concerts and other events on four different stages in Passim and the nearby First Parish Church, Cambridge, at 3 Church St.
Capping the commemoration of BCMFest’s first decade will be a Saturday night finale concert in First Church that will include "A Celtic Sojourn" host Brian O'Donovan, who will emcee, Highland Dance Boston and other special guests, and a tribute to the late Boston Irish music legend Larry Reynolds by faculty and students of the Boston Comhaltas Music School that Reynolds helped establish.
Performers for 2013 include: The Deadstring Ensemble, George Keith & Sean Gannon, Hanneke Cassel & Mike Block, The Coyne Family, Katie McNally & Eric McDonald, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Joey Abarta, Core 4, Liz Hanley, Mairin Ui Cheide, Skylark, Belclare, Corvus, Kira & Cliff McGann, Armand Aromin & Dan Accardi, Diane Taraz, Michael O'Leary, Ivonne Hernandez & Adrianna Ciccone, Bob Bradshaw, Laura Cortese, Emerald Rae, Carraroe, Matt Heaton & The Electric Heaters, The Whiskey Boys & Shinbone Alley, Molly Pinto Madigan, The Boston Scottish Fiddle Club, The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Boston, The Bell Family, and Kyte MacKillop & Friends.
A look at some of the highlights of BCMFest 2013:
BCMFest began in January of 2004, the creation of Irish flutist Shannon Heaton and Scottish-style fiddler Laura Cortese, who believed Boston should celebrate the richness and diversity of its Celtic music with a festival that would be largely run by musicians and volunteers. For the first two years, BCMFest was held at locations in Somerville's Davis Square and Club Passim, and since 2006 has taken place largely in Harvard Square. BCMFest also has held events throughout the rest of the year, including a monthly series at Club Passim, a music cruise in Gloucester Harbor, and an annual concert at the Westford Museum.
In 2011, BCMFest officially became a program of Passim, which has been a venue for, and a supporter of, the festival from the beginning.
"It's hard to believe 10 years have passed," says Heaton. "Laura and I are delighted that BCMFest has struck a chord among such a wide variety of traditional musicians, and it has been humbling and inspiring to see how the community has gotten behind the project for a decade. So many musicians, parents and friends have contributed time, energy and creative ideas -- and all of this support has helped the festival evolve and grow. And, at the end of the day, it is one hot display of music and dance talent."
Adds Cortese, "We continue to be impressed by the quality and creativity we see among the musicians, singers, dancers and others who perform at BCMFest each year. It's a true representation of the music community: full-time touring professionals; musicians who work 'day jobs' and go off to play sessions or concerts on evenings and weekends; people with strong personal and familial roots in these music traditions; and enthusiastic high school and college students who help ensure these traditions will go on."
Heaton and Cortese also credit Passim for its role in BCMFest's development: "Passim has been an invaluable resource for folk and acoustic music for decades, not only as a concert venue but for its music school and community outreach. We're honored to be part of this organization."
All information about BCMFest 2013, including ticket prices, festival schedule and performer updates, will be available at passim.org/bcmfest.