Copley Street will play BCMFest July 3rd at 7 p.m.
Summer BCMFest – the warm-weather version of the Boston Celtic Music Fest (BCMFest) – will return to its in-person on-stage format this year on July 3, with a slate of afternoon and evening performances at Club Passim in Harvard Square featuring some of Greater Boston’s best Celtic musicians.
The event is tailored after the annual BCMFest, held each January to celebrate Greater Boston ’s richness of music, song, and dance from the Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions. Like its winter counterpart, Summer BCMFest showcases the diversity of sounds and styles found in Boston’s Celtic music community. [The 20th BCMFest will take place next January of 2023.]
Summer BCMFest opens with a pair of free performances outside Club Passim on Palmer Street: Glenville, one of the area’s hot new traditional Irish/Scottish groups, at 2 p.m.; and longtime festival favorite Scottish Fish at 3 p.m.
The festival shifts indoors for a ticketed evening concert beginning at 7 p.m. with Copley Street, the duo of uilleann piper Joey Abarta and fiddler Nathan Gourley; Louise Bichan and Ethan Setiawan, who blend Scottish and Appalachian musical styles; and fiddler-vocalist Jenna Moynihan.
Tickets are available at passim.org/summer-bcmfest; the event also will be available via livestream at passim.org/stream.
A look at the 2022 Summer BCMFest performers:
•Glenville is the high-octane quartet of Calum Bell, Elias Cardoso, Eamon Sefton, and Patrick Bowling, all of whom play multiple instruments including fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar, banjo, bouzouki and bodhran. The four have been impressing listeners (and fellow musicians) at Boston-area venues with their joyously energetic takes on traditional Irish and Scottish tunes, as well as their own compositions.
•When the Boston-based fiddle and cello group Scottish Fish (Ava Montesi, Caroline Dressler, Julia Homa, Maggie MacPhail, and Giulia Haible) first appeared at BCMFest 2014, its members were barely – or not even – in high school. Since then, they’ve become a highly experienced and assured ensemble, their performances of traditional and contemporary Scottish and Cape Breton reels, jigs, strathspeys, and the like woven together from years of fiddle camp and session music handed down from generations of the tradition's finest players. Whether it’s traditional or contemporary tunes or their own material, “the Fish” play all with imaginative, engaging, and downright fun arrangements.
•Copley Street’s Joey Abarta and Nathan Gourley are two of the leading lights in the area’s Irish music community, their knowledge of and devotion to the tradition equally wide and deep. A prize-winning uilleann piper – in 2014 – Abarta became the first American-born piper in four decades to win the An tOireachtas – He has honed his skills through continuing relationships with master pipers, and is dedicated to passing along his knowledge to the next generation. A musician since age five, Gourley took up fiddle in earnest during his teens and benefitted from playing with esteemed musicians such as Paddy O’Brian (of the band Chulrua), Dathi Sproule (Altan) Brian Miller (Bua), and Norah Rendell (The Outside Track).
In 2013, the two released the album “Copley Street” – named for the street in Boston where they were living at the time, but also a reference to a famous record label that featured local Irish musicians – to wide acclaim, and are at work on a sequel.
•Louise Bichan is native to Scotland’s Orkney Islands and one of its most accomplished fiddlers, while Indiana-born Ethan Setiawan is a winner of national mandolin championships who also excels on mandola and bouzouki. The two met at the Berklee College of Music, where they co-founded the quartet Corner House (which also has appeared at BCMFest), and have since begun performing on their own as well, exploring Scottish and American traditions along with those of Scandinavia and Canada – drawing inspiration from all to inform their own compositions.
•Since arriving in Boston more than a decade ago, Jenna Moynihan has found numerous outlets for her Scottish/Appalachian-influenced fiddling, including an acclaimed collaboration with Scottish harpist Mairi Chaimbeul and as a member of unique folk-roots-pop quartet Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. In recent years, she has also focused on developing an equally diverse song repertoire, which she shared on her EP “Five Songs.”