IT'S TIME -- The 7th annual BCMFest is all set to go, with a weekend full of music and dance showcasing some of Boston's best performers in the Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic-related traditions. The festival, which runs January 8 and 9, will take place in Harvard Square with events at Club Passim and nearby First Church, and at Springstep in Medford.
This year's festival has a back-to-basics theme, with a special emphasis on musicians, singers, and dancers who keep the "core traditions" alive. BCMFest's grand finale concert on Jan. 9 (8 p.m. in First Church) will feature tributes to some of Celtic music's most beloved and influential figures - all with ties to Boston or New England - including Liam Clancy, Tommy Makem, Jerry Holland, Seamus Connolly, Tony Cuffe, Marianne Taylor, and John Campbell.
Among the performers appearing this year are the Makem and Spain Brothers; Kimberley Fraser; The Gobshites; Liam Hart; Tina Lech and Ted Davis; Tri; Flynn Cohen and John McGann; David O'Docherty; Sean and John Connor; Colm O'Brien; Kate Chadbourne; Michael O'Leary; Calum Pasqua and Susie Petrov; the band Bento Boxty with lead singer Bridget Fitzgerald; Regina Delaney and the New England Harp Orchestra; Highland Dance Boston; Barbara and Robert McOwen; Tullochgorum; Laura Cortese and the Boston Urban Ceilidh Band; the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club; Trio 7 (Sarah Blair, Flynn Cohen and Mark Roberts); Anne Hooper; the trio of Laurel Martin, Kieran Jordan and David Surette; Travel (with Laura Cortese, Nic Gareiss and Anna Lindblad); Gordon Aucoin and Lloyd Carr; Cedar Stanistreet and Max Newman; Feargal Ó Béarra; Wells Burrell; Jane Gilmartin; and Framingband..
As always, BCMFest offers special events: a performance by a one-of-its-kind ensemble that will evoke Boston's classic Dudley Street Dance Hall Era of the 1930s to 1950s; a salute to groups and individuals who promote, teach, and encourage music traditions in the community; "The Fiddler's Wish," a family-oriented story told with songs and music; a "Music Make-over" session in which a panel of experts will give performers advice on improving their sound; and "BCMFest Yellow Submarine," with Beatles' songs done in a "Celtic" style.
For those who like to do more than watch and listen, BCMFest has several opportunities for participation: the Boston Urban Ceilidh, an evening of Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton social dances set to a rocking, high-energy beat; a Scottish music session led by Barbara and Robert McOwen; a singing session; and an open Irish music session.
Information about tickets, schedules and performers is available at bcmfest.com.