Besides BCMFest (see separate story), here are some Irish/Celtic events of note this month in Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts:
• Boston-area singer Diane Taraz, a songwriter who also performs traditional material, will present a concert to mark the release of her latest CD, “What is the Wind” on Jan. 2 at 3 p.m. in Harvard Square’s Club Passim. Taraz draws on Celtic, British, French-Canadian, and American folk for her repertoire, accompanying herself on guitar and dulcimer; she has immersed herself in the historical milieu of traditional song, conveying the social and personal context behind the lyrics. For tickets and other information, see passim.org.
• Also performing on Jan. 2 is Low Lily, the trio of Flynn Cohen (guitar, mandolin), Liz Simmons (guitar) and Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle), at the Off the Common Coffeehouse in Bridgewater. Formerly known as Annalivia, Low Lily has a “roots and branches” dynamic to its music, referencing Irish, Scottish, English, and American song traditions amidst contemporary and pop music influences, with skillful instrumental and vocal arrangements. Robin O’Herin, who plays acoustic blues and gospel, opens the show, which begins at 8 p.m. For more information, see offthecommon.org.
• Nashville-based Celtic quartet Isla will appear at the One World Coffeehouse in Essex on Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. The band was founded by Vermont-born vocalist Deborah Packard and Scottish guitarist and singer Peter Cairney, who recruited John Mock (whistle, mandolin, bodhran, concertina) and Bill Verdier (fiddle). Together, Isla represents an eclectic blend of musical backgrounds and experiences, as reflected in their mix of Irish, Scottish, and American traditions as well as original compositions. See www.oneworldcoffeehouse.org for concert details.
• Also on Jan. 16, The Burren’s Backroom series will host a special benefit concert with award-winning Irish singer Frances Black, along with her daughter, singer-songwriter Aoife Scott and guitarist Fionán de Barra; Burren owners Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello also will be performing at the show. Proceeds will benefit The RISE Foundation, which Black founded to support family members who have a loved one with an alcohol, drug, or gambling problem. Since it was created six years ago, RISE has aided some 3,000 family members. Black also has helped establish Friends of RISE-Ireland Inc., an American-based non-profit charity that raises funds for and sparks awareness of the foundation in Ireland, and provide general support for its work.
Concert information is available at burren.com/Backroom-Series.html and friendsofrise.org.
• An innovative force for a generation, the Trinity Irish Dance Company will present the Boston premiere of its latest show, “The Dawn,” at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre on Jan. 30 (8 p.m.) and 31 (3 p.m.). The brainchild of Emmy Award-winning choreographer/artistic director Mark Howard, Trinity was an outgrowth of the Chicago/Milwaukee-based Trinity Academy of Irish Dance that he founded in 1981 – and which subsequently enjoyed huge success in Irish dance world championships. Imbued with Howard’s willingness to experiment and build on traditions, Trinity Irish Dance Company was at the forefront of the progressive movement in Irish dance that would have its apotheosis in “Riverdance” and other such productions. Trinity prides itself on combining percussive power with agility, grace and precision. For ticket information, see worldmusic.org/content/event_page/3581.