Arts and Entertainment

Matthew Byrne: “These songs are windows into the lives of those people, and the time and place in which they lived,” says Matthew Byrne of his repertoire, much of which comes from his family. Graham Kennedy photoAt the end of last year, Newfoundland folk... Read more
Boston-based uilleann piper Joey Abarta will be part of the cast in the 2016 “A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn.”Over its first decade, “A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn” has made a point of featuring performers representing the younger generation of... Read more
The musical “Pippin” originally opened on Broadway in 1972.  With a score by Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Godspell”), the show was created under the watchful eye of iconic director and choreographer Bob Fosse. In 2012, “Pippin” was revived under the... Read more
A scene from the film Sing Street. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institue. Among the dozens of foreign films screened at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Irish features offered some of the strongest and strangest showings. The Emerald Isle consistently... Read more
Kieran Jordan in a scene from her new instructional DVD, with musicians Armand Aromin (left) and Benedict Gagliardi.In a perfect world – or perhaps the “old” world – Irish dancing is taught by an instructor face-to-face and toe-to-toe with the student.... Read more
For Jenna Moynihan, studying at the Berklee College of Music and exploring Boston’s vibrant folk/traditional environment was a way to find herself. “I had lots of great musicians to listen to and learn from. But eventually you have to get out of mimicking... Read more
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... Read more
SpeakEasy Stage Company presents the New England premiere of the musical “Violet” from Jan. 9 to Feb. 6 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.  With a powerful score by Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home” “Caroline, Or Change”) and book and... Read more
Seamus Connolly played “one last tune” during his retirement party last month. Sean Smith photoMusician, teacher, organizer, scholar: Fulfilling these roles for the better part of a quarter-century, Seamus Connolly has helped make Boston College a go-to... Read more
By Sean Smith Special to the BIR Here’s a little sampler of what New Jersey fiddler Haley Richardson has done over the past six years or so: Won Junior Fiddler of Dooney honors, plus seven Mid-Atlantic Fleadh and two All-Ireland Fleadh titles; performed... Read more
Scottish-born Maeve Gilchrist, among the featured performers at this year’s “Christmas Celtic Sojourn,” has been awfully busy of late, but she paused in her recent travels to discuss the show, her past times in Boston, and her childhood memories of the... Read more
By R. J. Donovan Special to the BIR Erica Spyres – actress, singer and classical violinist – has spent her life surrounded by music. Her parents are both music teachers. Her brothers are both singers. And her family was honored as “The Most Musical... Read more
In addition to “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn,” holiday-related happenings in the area include a performance by “The Celtic Kates” – Kate Chadbourne, Katie Mahoney, Katie O’Neill and Cait Sargent Lubelczyk – on December 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hibernian... Read more
Low Lily: The trio Low Lily, formerly known as Annalivia, is (L-R) Lissa Schneckenburger, Liz Simmons and Flynn Cohen. Andy Cambria photo Adieu, Annalivia. Hello, Low Lily. For the better part of a decade, the Eastern Massachusetts-based band Annalivia... Read more
Elf: Buddy The Elf spreads his holiday cheer in “Elf The Musical,” playing The Citi Wang Theater from November 17 - December 6. Joan Marcus photo “Elf” first jingled to life as a holiday film in 2003.  It immediately became an audience favorite, taking in... Read more
North Shore Music Theatre is presenting the Tony Award winning “Billy Elliot: The Musical” through Oct. 11.  With music by Elton John, lyrics by Lee Hall and based on the film of the same name, this is the story of a young boy with a fiery passion to... Read more
The Dorchester Irish Heritage Festival [see separate story in this edition] is certainly the big highlight event in Boston-area Irish/Celtic-related doings for October, but as always there will be plenty of activity elsewhere, including performances by... Read more
When you’ve had as long and productive a musical career as Finbar Furey, picking out a defining moment might seem difficult. But in his case, there are at least two – and in both instances, he walked away from certain success. The first time was in 1970,... Read more
Perhaps the worst thing you can say about this CD is that it makes you wish for more – like a companion DVD. “From Tulla to Boston: Live at The Burren” is a recording of last November’s Trad Youth Exchange concert that took place in The Burren in... Read more
Appearances by Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Cape Cod fiddler Rose Clancy and guitarist Pierre Bensusan plus a reunion of the Boston-area fiddle trio Halali are among the highlights of September Irish/Celtic events taking place in the Greater Boston... Read more