Arts and Entertainment

The honors keep rolling in for master fiddler Seamus Connolly, director of Irish music programs at Boston College and one of the area’s most celebrated traditional Irish musicians. Last month, Connolly – who is the Sullivan Artist-in-Residence at BC – was... Read more
One of the newer celebrations of traditional Irish music in Boston returns for its second go-round this month, when Féile Cheoil Boston takes place on May 17 in Melrose. The day-long (10 a.m.-10 p.m.) event, established by Boston’s Comhaltas Ceoltóirí... Read more
Local launch of ‘Tell You in Earnest,’ at The Burren May 14 When you’ve been a musical duo, and a couple, for as long as Matt and Shannon Heaton – and we’re talking well into the second decade – you tend to know when you’re onto something good. So a... Read more
Aimee Doherty journeys “Into The Woods” Fairy tales are filled with princes and witches and monsters and magic.  Whatever trials the characters face, the stories usually build to a happily-ever-after ending.  But did you ever wonder what happened after... Read more
By R. J. Donovan Special To The BIR As a writer, director and arts administrator, Dawn M. Simmons wears a lot of hats. For the past nine years she has been director of programs at StageSource, the respected non-profit that provides leadership and services... Read more
By Sean Smith The recordings that Bridget Fitzgerald kept from her unreleased album with Carol Barney were deeply loved treasures – reminders of a partnership, and friendship, that ended far too soon when Barney died 14 years ago this month. But... Read more
This year, Bud Sargent is celebrating three decades as a broadcaster of Irish music and culture via “Four Green Fields,” Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon on WCUW, 91.3 FM (and via the web at A native of Worcester who works as an attorney for his “... Read more
BY SUSAN LINDSAY SPECIAL TO THE BIR Early last month, on Feb. 3, Boston lost Brendan Tonra, a 78-year old fiddler and composer of Irish traditional dance tunes. who passed away peacefully at after a short but intense battle with cancer. To his three... Read more
Jimmy Noonan, a faculty member in the Music Department and Irish Studies Program at Boston College, is the recipient of a $10,000 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship award. The fellowships “recognize exceptional work by Massachusetts artists... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR It’s a dead-of-winter Saturday, but things are quite lively inside the German International School Boston building in Brighton where some three dozen students of the O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance are going through... Read more
‘BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR “Heartbeat of Home” could rightfully be called “Riverdance” for the new millennium, taking Irish dance to the next level. When the exuberant production makes its East Coast debut at the Citi Wang Theatre from March 26... Read more
The 11th annual BCMFest (January 10 and 11) drew more than 1,100 people to Harvard Square to see some of the Boston area’s best Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton musicians, dancers and singers. The festival, a program of Passim, began the night of January 10... Read more
BY THOMAS O’GRADY SPECIAL TO THE BIR For the past few weeks, I have been thumbing back and forth through a massive hot-off-the-press coffee table book, The Great War: a Photographic Narrative. A project of Great Britain’s Imperial War Museums, the book... Read more
Piper a fixture in local music scene BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR Coming to Boston represented both a commitment and a leap of faith for Joey Abarta. By his early 20s, the Los Angeles native was already an accomplished uilleann piper, having toured... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR With wit and neurotic comedy, Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” stirred things up when it premiered on Broadway in 1970 following an out-of-town tryout right here at Boston’s Shubert Theatre. Lacking a linear storyline, it... Read more
Celtic dance – in both a traditional and contemporary vein – will be the focus of the BCMFest Nightcap, the grand finale for the 11th annual BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest), on Sat., Jan. 11. A grassroots celebration of local Irish, Scottish, Cape... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR The Murphy bed is one of those quintessential Irish-American success stories, born (allegedly) of romance and determination. As legend has it, San Franciscan William L. Murphy came up with his namesake invention at the... Read more
Change of date: the Keenan/Noonan performance is Thursday, Jan 23. Uilleann pipes virtuoso Paddy Keenan and Boston College faculty musicians Jimmy Noonan and Sheila Falls will be among the performers featured during the spring 2014 Gaelic Roots series of... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR “Once” first sparked to life as a tiny, 2007 independent Irish film about the power of music to draw people together. The two main characters are simply called Guy and Girl. Guy is a struggling Dublin street musician... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR Dublin native Tom Courtney regards his debut CD as a tribute album of sorts: an expression of gratitude to songwriters and singers who have inspired him the most since he started performing seriously more than two decades... Read more