All in the (BCMFest) Family

A column of news and updates of the Boston Celtic Music Fest (BCMFest), which celebrates the Boston area’s rich heritage of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton music and dance with a grassroots, musician-run winter music festival and other events during the year. —Sean Smith
– As far as the Boston Celtic Music Fest is concerned, there’s no such thing as an age difference: BCMFest events have featured performances by pre-teens, senior citizens, and everyone in-between, including mamas and papas, grandmas and grandpas, and kids big and small.
BCMFest will celebrate the all-ages appeal of Celtic music with a special concert on July 12, as part of its Celtic Music Monday series at Club Passim in Harvard Square. “In the Family Way: Music Shared Across Generations” will present three acts that, together, show how traditional music acts as a bond within families and unites youths and adults: The Reiner Family Band, a veritable institute of traditional music performance and education; fiddling, singing and dancing sisters Eden Forman and Emerald Rae; and Plaiditude, an ensemble of middle school-age fiddlers.

This Celtic Music Monday concert includes a special admission price of $5 at the door for children 12 and under. Tickets are $15, $10 for members of Club Passim, WGBH and WUMB. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit BCMFest, which marks its eighth year January 7 and 8 in 2011.
“We talk about BCMFest being a community-oriented festival, and that community encompasses parents and their children,” says BCMFest board member Sean Smith, a co-organizer of the July 12 concert. “This event is a great way for families to get a sense of what BCMFest, and Celtic music, is all about.”
Here’s a closer look at the concert’s performers:
•The Reiner Family Band: Hailing from Lexington, this band features the lively duets of champion fiddler Dave Reiner and his banjo-playing wife Cindy Eid. Their sons Andy Reiner (fiddle, mandolin) and Eric Eid-Reiner (piano) have often appeared at BCMFest and are well-known to the area traditional and folk music scene — Andy as a member of the unique Appalachian/Scandinavian/contemporary quartet Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers; Eric as part of Matching Orange, which in a short time has become a popular fixture in the New England contra dance circuit. In addition to Irish and Cape Breton songs and tunes, the Reiners’ repertoire includes bluegrass and old-time, swing, ragtime, Klezmer and Cajun.
Says Dave: “As musical phrases combine to form a lively tune, so have our musical phases moved us all through lively times.”
•Eden Forman and Emerald Rae: Eden and Emerald grew up with very musically inclined parents, and found the muse themselves early on in childhood, particularly in the realm of Celtic music — both have won U.S. National Scottish Fiddle championships. The two, who also are talented vocalists and dancers, have appeared at BCMFest as a duo and as the New Tyme Sisters with their “honorary sister” Emma Beaton. Emerald is a member of the “alt-trad” group Annalivia, which recently released its second CD, “Barrier Falls.” Eden and Emerald in recent years have taken a keen interest in other forms of traditional music, such as Appalachian/old-timey and Irish.
“Music has always been a way of life for our family,” says Rae, who co-organizes a weekly session at John Harvard’s Brew Pub in Harvard Square. “Over the years, Eden and I have each branched out and developed our own identities as musicians, but our sisterly bond always shines through in the music regardless of style or genre.”
• Plaiditude: This group of fiddlers, ranging in age from 9-12, met at Boston Harbor Fiddle Camp on Thompson Island a couple of years ago, and have been enjoying playing together regularly since. They debuted at BCMFest in January and can sometimes be spotted busking in Harvard Square, as well as revving up the speed at various fiddle sessions around town. Plaiditude includes Calum Bell, Katie Bell, Wells Burrell, Dylan Courville and Sarah Lamburtus; guest performers are Bob Jennings and Wylie Burrell.
To reserve tickets for “In a Family Way,” which begins at 8 p.m., go to or call 617-492-7679.
Performers: The Clock is Ticking -- If you’re interested in performing at BCMFest 2011, the deadline for applications is approaching: They’re due July 11. Go to and download an application.
For more information on BCMFest, see; you can also sign up for the BCMFest e-mail list via the Web site.