October Arts and Entertainment Calendar

The New England Irish Harp Orchestra comes to Gore Place in Waltham on October 27.


Not surprisingly, the recent Covid-19 resurgence has slowed somewhat the resumption of live events at area venues. Continued concern and uncertainty as well as travel restrictions related to the pandemic have forced many performers from Ireland, Scotland, and elsewhere abroad – and even within the US – to scale back, postpone, or cancel their plans for touring; Altan’s scheduled gig at Somerville Theater this month was one such casualty. 

•But the calendar isn’t completely blank, certainly not at Club Passim in Harvard Square, which will host fiddle-cello duo Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. For two decades, this pioneering partnership has been a study not only in instrumental mastery and sheer ability, but also in musical chemistry and creativity, vis-à-vis their archetypal “ducking and diving,” in which they exchange riffs, trade off melody versus rhythm, and otherwise converse in various tones of emotion and intensity. Fraser and Haas have long since moved beyond the Scottish tradition that was their starting point, exploring music from places like Scandinavia, Spain, England, and Appalachia as well as other genres such as classical, jazz, and swing. Their most recent album, “Syzygy,” marked yet another new milestone, featuring entirely original compositions – making their own music “from the ground up,” according to Fraser.

Former Boston-based quartet Corner House will be at Club Passim on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., demonstrating its impressive range of Irish, Scottish, Appalachian string band, New England contra dance, and bluegrass traditions, which often provide a basis for their own material. Virginia-born guitarist Ethan Hawkins, Scottish fiddler Louise Bichan, mandolinist Ethan Setiawan from Indiana, and Western New Yorker Casey Murray on cello – all of whom met via the Berklee College of Music – cultivated their easygoing, groove-centric sound through many get-togethers at the Brighton House, a hub for young Boston-area roots musicians. Since then, Corner House has released two EP albums and appeared at BCMFest, the Red Room at Café 939 and the Grey Fox and Falcon Ridge festivals, among other places.

Tickets and information available at passim.org

• The internationally renowned ballad group The High Kings comes to the Chevalier Theatre in Medford on Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. with newest member Paul O’Brien joining co-founders Finbarr Clancy, Darren Holden, and Brian Dunphy. Inspired by the classic Irish ballad style that swept into popularity during the 1950s and ’60s through the likes of the Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners, the quartet has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe, combining modern songs in the folk idiom – and even from other genres – with some of the classic ballad repertoire. Their most recent recording, “Home from Home,” captures their performance at the Concert Deck in Dublin, and includes “Wild Colonial Boy,” “Farewell to Nova Scotia” and “Carrickfergus,” as well as contemporary songs like “Streets of London,” “City of Chicago” and “Green Fields of France.”

Tickets and other details at chevaliertheatre.com.

•The acclaimed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will be at Cary Hall in Lexington on Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. – an event that had previously been scheduled back in the spring of 2020. A Dublin native raised in Kilkenny who began his career path as a medical doctor, Tynan didn’t start formal voice training until his early 30s. But he quickly blossomed as an operatic/classical-style singer and in 1998 co-founded the Irish Tenors, which enjoyed international success. Since then, Tynan has toured around the world and sung at such landmark events as the state funeral for Ronald Reagan, the Belmont Stakes, benefits and memorial services for 9/11 first responders, and the first inauguration of Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. In addition to a number of audio recordings, Tynan has released a DVD of his motivational speaking.

•Gore Place Carriage House Concerts in Waltham hosts the quartet of Laurel Martin, Jim Prendergast, Mark Roberts, and Kieran Jordan on Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The four – Martin (fiddle), Roberts (flute, banjo, bouzouki), Prendergast (guitar) and Jordan (sean-nos dance) – are each individually accomplished and heralded performers in traditional Irish music and have often joined forces in various configurations or as part of other collaborations. Martin, Roberts, and Jordan, for example, often appeared with the fiddle ensemble Childsplay, while Prendergast has played alongside Martin and Roberts at BCMFest. 

The New England Irish Harp Orchestra will be at Gore Place on Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. NEIHO is a multi-generational group of harpists who play Irish traditional tunes, slow airs, and songs in various combinations as well as a full ensemble – including with fiddlers, flutists, and singers. The group has released four albums.

Go to goreplace.org/whats-on/carriage-house-concerts.

•Boston College’s Gaelic Roots series returns with Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy on Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Theology and Ministry Library Auditorium on BC’s Brighton Campus. This husband-wife team is a veritable resource center for traditional music found in New England (including Irish, English, Scottish, and Quebecois) and are well respected individually in their own right as teachers and mentors as well as top-flight musicians – Murphy on vocals, guitar, mandolin and piano, Tracy on fiddle. In addition to the concert stage, Murphy and Tracy have been stalwarts of New England’s celebrated contra dance scene, having been two-thirds of the groundbreaking trio Nightingale. Murphy also is familiar to the Boston area as music director for the annual “St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn” production. Last year, after some three decades of playing together, they released their first album as a duo, “Golden.”

The concert is free. For directions to Brighton Campus, go to events.bc.edu/group/gaelic_roots_series.