Summer BCMFest – the warm-weather counterpart to the annual winter BCMFest (Boston Celtic Music Fest) – will take place in a virtual format on July 5 beginning at 7 p.m., featuring Cape Breton music by the Leland Martin Trio; Boston-area Irish musicians Laura Feddersen, Nathan Gourley, Cara Frankowicz, and Alan Murray; fiddle-harp duo Jenna Moynihan and Màiri Chaimbeul; and fiddler Katie McNally.
A program of Cambridge nonprofit Passim, which hosts BCMFest events at Club Passim in Harvard Square, BCMFest celebrates Greater Boston’s richness of music, song, and dance from Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions. This will be the sixth edition of Summer BCMFest.
Given the likelihood of continued restrictions on public gatherings due to the pandemic, BCMFest organizers opted for an online version of the summer fest.
All Summer BCMFest performances will be available via passim.org/streams. Festival details and updates will be posted at the BCMFest website, passim.org/bcmfest, and on social media.
A look at the Summer BCMFest 2020 performers:
•Katie McNally, who grew up in the Greater Boston area and has been a part of BCMFest since her early teens, has built on her foundations in the Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle traditions to create a sound that reflects her forays into American, Galician, and other folk music, as well as her original work. McNally has been a member of the Boston-based fiddle ensemble Childsplay and part of numerous collaborations, among them with Galician piper Carlos Nuñez.
One of her benchmark projects was the album “The Boston States” that she recorded in her trio with Neil Pearlman (keyboards) – who will be accompanying her at Summer BCMFest – and Shauncey Ali (viola), which featured tunes inspired by old recordings of Cape Breton fiddlers both in Nova Scotia and Massachusetts and reflecting the creative energy of the Boston acoustic music scene. The trio’s second album is forthcoming.
•The quartet of Laura Feddersen (fiddle, banjo), Nathan Gourley (fiddle), Cara Frankowicz (fiddle), and Alan Murray (guitar, bouzouki) possesses a wealth of experience (Feddersen, Gourley, and Frankowicz have made numerous appearances over the years at BCMFest in various collaborations) and enjoys a camaraderie as friends and housemates, but also as stalwarts of Boston’s Irish music session scene – with a particular fondness for the weekly get-together at the Brendan Behan Pub in Jamaica Plain. In fact, after the Behan shut down due to the pandemic, they embarked on a “virtual session” that has proved to be popular with musicians and non-musicians, Bostonians and non-Bostonians alike. For Summer BCMFest, the four will give a taste of the virtual session: easy-going, amiable and chock full of excellent music.
•Since meeting at the Berklee College of Music, upstate New York native Jenna Moynihan and Màiri Chaimbeul, from a musical family in the Isle of Skye, have forged a collaboration that fuses Scottish and Appalachian/old-timey music with elements of classical and jazz, as captured on their widely praised 2017 album “One Two.” They have toured in North America, Scotland, and France, with sold-out shows including Celtic Connections, Celtic Colours, and Scots Fiddle Festival.
•A frequent leader and participant at sessions in the Greater Boston area and elsewhere, Leland Martin has been strongly influenced by New England and Canadian fiddle styles and amassed an extensive library of well-known and esoteric tunes. At the winter BCMFest this past January, Martin was part of a special performance with fiddler Jake Brillhart and pianist Janine Randall, “A Cape Breton Trip Through Time,” which offered an historical look at Cape Breton music, from old traditional tunes to iconic tunes from island legends, and ending with some of the newest hits from modern artists.
For more about BCMFest, see passim.org/bcmfest.