May 31, 2020
Summer BCMFest – the warm-weather counterpart to the annual winter BCMFest (Boston Celtic Music Fest) – will take place in a virtual format on July 5, featuring performances by fiddler Katie McNally; fiddle-harp duo Jenna Moynihan and Màiri Chaimbeul; and Cape Breton-style fiddler Leland Martin.
A program of Cambridge nonprofit Passim, which hosts BCMFest events at Club Passim in Harvard Square, BCMFest celebrates Greater Boston’s richness of music, song and dance from Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic traditions.
Given the likelihood of continued restrictions on public gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, BCMFest organizers opted for an online version of the summer festival, which is marking its sixth year.
All Summer BCMFest performances will be available via http://www.passim.org/streams. Festival details and updates will be posted at the BCMFest website, passim.org/bcmfest, and on social media.
A look at the performers confirmed thus far for Summer BCMFest:
•Katie McNally, who grew up in the Greater Boston area and has been a part of BCMFest since her early teens, has built on her foundations in the Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle traditions to create a sound that reflects her forays into American, Galician and other folk music, as well as her original work. McNally has been a member of the Boston-based fiddle ensemble Childsplay and part of numerous collaborations, among them with Galician piper Carlos Nuñez.
One of her benchmark projects was the album “The Boston States” she recorded in her trio with Neil Pearlman (keyboards) and Shauncey Ali (viola), which featured tunes inspired by old recordings of Cape Breton fiddlers both in Nova Scotia and Massachusetts and reflecting the creative energy of the Boston acoustic music scene. The trio’s second album is forthcoming.
•Since meeting at the Berklee College of Music, upstate New York native Jenna Moynihan and Màiri Chaimbeul, from a musical family in the Isle of Skye, have forged a collaboration that fuses Scottish and Appalachian/old-timey music, with elements of classical and jazz, as captured on their widely praised 2017 album “One Two.” They have toured in North America, Scotland and France, with sold-out shows including Celtic Connections, Celtic Colours and Scots Fiddle Festival.
•A frequent leader and participant at sessions in the Greater Boston area and elsewhere, Leland Martin has been strongly influenced by New England and Canadian fiddle styles and amassed an extensive library of well-known and esoteric tunes. At the winter BCMFest this past January, Martin was part of a special performance with fiddler Jake Brillhart and pianist Janine Randall, “A Cape Breton Trip Through Time,” which offered an historical look at Cape Breton music, from old traditional tunes to iconic tunes from island legends, and ending with some of the newest hits from modern artists.