Remember the 2012 BCMFest?


For a number of years this was the official website for the BCMFest. After 2012 information about the BCMFest was moved to
For current information about the BCMFest go to :

The content below is from the site's 2012 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.

c/o Passim
26 Church Street, Suite 300 
Cambridge, MA 02138 

BCMFest 2012 Opening Concert- Nic & Siobhán




Boston's Celtic Music Fest (BCMFest) will celebrate its ninth anniversary on January 6 and 7, 2012, and continues looking forward to a bright future of exciting possibilities and opportunities. Besides sponsoring a festival that features more than 100 performers of great variety, BCMFest organizes a monthly collaboration with Club Passim, "Celtic Music Mondays," spotlighting Boston area Celtic musicians and singers; BCMFest also holds special events such as a Celtic Music Cruise and the Boston Urban Ceilidh.

Above all, BCMFest continues to uphold its mission: making music our first priority.

BCMFest (Boston's Celtic Music Fest), showcasing Greater Boston's best performers of music, song and dance from the Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic traditions.


"A delightful feeling of abundance can overtake a fan when this festival reaches its hilt...[BCMFest] makes clear what a rich hub of talent Boston has lately fiddled-up."

-Daniel Gewertz, Boston Herald

"With its pan-Celtic music, community focus, low-key approach, multi-generational lineup and universal sense of fun, the BCMFest is a sterling example of how to make a tradition live and grow."
~Dirty Linen 


• Friday, January 6th, 2012

Ninth Annual BCMFest at the following:
  • Club Passim
  • The Atrium
7 PM - 9 PM Club Passim - kickoff concert 47 Palmer Street
8 PM - 11:30 Urban Ceilidh - The Atrium, 50 Church Street

• Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Ninth Annual BCMFest at the following:
  • Club Passim
  • First Parish Church in Cambridge
10:30am-6:30pm - Dayfest - Performers all day at 4 stages
8pm-10pm First Parish - Finale Concert

• Monday, January 9th, 2012

Celtic Music Monday January 2012 at Club Passim
Starting in January, Celtic Music Monday will have a new format: Every other month will feature the "BCMFest Session," each one led by some of Boston's best Celtic musicians. All sessions are free of charge, and people are welcome to sit in. 

• Monday, February 13th, 2012

Celtic Music Monday February 2012 at Club Passim
Neil Pearlman (innovative Scottish/Cape Breton-style keyboardist) and Friends. More details TBA




FRI. JANUARY 6th 7pm 11pm


"Roots and Branches"Club Passim at 7pm
Fun, fresh take on Celtic music from North America to Europe and back again with a diverse roster of special guests which will culminate in a parade from Club Passim to the Boston Urban Ceilidh. 

Starting Things Off Right Friday night “Roots and Branches” concert sets tempo for BCMFest 2012

Youthful energy usually abounds at the BCMFest Friday night kick-off concert, and this year is no exception. "Roots and Branches," which takes place January 6 from 7-9 p.m. at Club Passim in Harvard Square, will give a fun, fresh take on the music of Scotland and Ireland, and its diasporic communities in Appalachia, Quebec and Cape Breton, presented by some of the most dynamic young musicians, singers and dancers in Boston's Celtic music scene. A diversely talented house band of Eden Forman (fiddle, vocals), Abbie MacQuarrie (fiddle, feet), Jefferson Hamer (guitar, vocals), Neil Pearlman (piano, mandolin) and Nic Gareiss (feet), will be the anchoring force of the concert. They will welcome a number of special guests, including fiddlers Kimberley Fraser, Emerald Rae and Hanneke Cassel, singer and multi-instrumentalist Grace Van't Hof, and Irish stepdancer Siobhan Butler -- what's more, concert co-organizers Forman and MacQuarrie add, there will be "some secret 'rad' musicians joining in as well, so you don't want to miss it." Tickets for the Friday night concert are $28, $25 for Passim members. Hold onto your ticket stub — when the concert is over, you can head down the street to The Atrium (50 Church Street, 4th floor) and use it to get free admission to the Boston Urban Ceilidh, BCMFest's Celtic dance party.


The Reiner Brothers 8pm
Andy and Eric expertly combine Irish, Cape Breton, Quebecois, New England and old-timey music to get you moving on the dance floor. Dave Eisenstadter will do the calling.

Triple Spiral 9pm
Pulsating Celtic music with focus on Brittany and the Scottish Isles and Highlands. They will lead Breton dances to boot.

Neil Pearlman and Friends BUC Style 10pm
Think "contra dance meets mosh pit" -- Hanneke Cassel will get everyone out there on the floor and show you how it's done.

SAT. DAYFest 10:30am-6:30pm


Fellswater 10:30am
Exquisite Scottish/Celtic tunes on flute, whistle, pipes, fiddle, guitar and bouzouki

"A Tribute to Nic Jones" 11:30am
A set of songs made popular by one of the folk revival's most influential singers/instrumentalists, led by Nic Gareiss and Bill Wiegandt.

A Most Influential Man BCMFest 2012 includes a salute to groundbreaking singer/guitarist Nic Jones

Nic Jones' career was relatively short, but his impact on folk and traditional music has proved an enduring one -- and that legacy will be celebrated at the 2012 BCMFest. The duo of Nic Gareiss and Bill Wiegandt will lead a showcase of songs made popular by Jones, one of the most popular singers to come out of the 1960s-70s English folk revival. Jones released a set of landmark albums during the 1970s and early 1980s -- including "The Noah's Ark Trap" and "Penguin Eggs" -- that showcased his distinctive guitar style and his idiosyncratic yet expressive singing, as well as his penchant for reviving obscure or overlooked songs from the British Isle folk music tradition. However, Jones was forced to abandon his musical career after suffering extensive injuries in a 1982 car accident.

Gareiss and Wiegandt are among many musicians who, while not even born when Jones was in his hey-day, nonetheless have a great appreciation for the music he left behind him.

“I see Nic Jones' work as crucial to understanding where the trans-Atlantic folk revival -- and I would argue, revitalization -- stands today,” says Gareiss. “Jones' songs, particularly his harmonization, guitar parts, and innovative accompaniment approach, have influenced countless folk singers, perhaps the most notable of this generation being Kate Rusby. In turn, these younger folk artists have set the bar for the standard and aesthetic of traditional English, and by extension in these post-global times, Irish, Scottish and American folk.”

Gareiss, whose innovative, traditionally rooted stepdancing and “foot percussion” has been a welcome presence at BCMFest and many other Boston-area music events, is also a talented singer and musician. He and Wiegandt, a vocalist and guitarist who draws on popular and contemporary as well as traditional styles, have performed as part of the bands Freshwater and the Heartland String Project. Among the other performers joining Gareiss and Wiegandt will be Laura Cortese (fiddle, vocals), Jefferson Hamer (guitar, vocals), and Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle, vocals).

Putting together a Nic Jones tribute, says Gareiss, “allows us a look as the specific ways this artist has had an impact on the next generation of folk practitioners. For me personally, I see Jones' songs of parting, like ‘Master Kilby,’ ‘Ten Thousand Miles’ and ‘Canadee-i-o’ as particularly moving and exemplary of Jones' compelling delivery and incredible guitar work. His musicianship and interpretation have somehow succeeded in proving the relevance of this musical tradition and I, for one, feel very glad and very liberated by it, in the application of that same philosophy to traditional songs I want to perform.”

The BCMFest Nic Jones tribute will take place on Saturday, January 7, at 11:30 a.m. in Club Passim.

"Singer Co-Bill" 12:30pm
Kyle Carey Trio
 sings sublime original and traditional songs in Scottish and English. Bob Bradshaw sings Irish and English traditional songs from sources old and new 

Adrienne Howard and Emily Peterson 1:30pm
Irish, French Canadian tunes featuring fiddle, hurdy-gurdy and concertina

Katie McNally and Eric McDonald 2:30pm
Unique fiddle/guitar arrangements of Scottish and Cape Breton tunes

NØÍR 3:30pm 
Intricate blend of Irish and Norwegian music


First Parish Church in Cambridge

"Bawdy Breakfast" 10:45am
Songs of love, lust and laughter by Dall-i-ance (Lynn Noel, Lynn Feingold, Anabel Graetz and Deborah Goss)

Corvus 11:45am 
Inviting Irish tunes and songs featured on fretted strings and free reeds

Ken Perlman and Jim Prendergast 12:45pm
Inimitable five-string banjo and guitar duo with deep repertoire of Irish, Scottish, Canadian and American tunes and songs

Hannah Sanders and Liz Simmons 1:45pm 
Dual guitars, rich voices, contemporary and traditional folk

Kimberley Fraser 2:45pm
Masterful fiddling in the Cape Breton tradition

Neil Pearlman's Scottish Infusion 3:45pm
Authentically played Scottish melodies with Latin, jazz and funk influences

McThriller 4:45pm
Willie Jean, The Lass in the Mirror, and other Celtic Renditions of the Songs of Michael Jackson


First Parish Church in Cambridge

Dylan Courville and Wells Burrell with Bob Jennings - UNPLUGGED 10:45am
"Fiddle-crazy boys" play Scottish/Celtic tunes with a few surprises

Highland Soles 11:30
Graceful, powerful pairing of Scottish music and dance

Intricate blend of Irish and Norwegian music

Chasing Redbird 12:45 
Rhythmically compelling, energetic performance of contemporary Scottish music

The Whiskey Boys UNPLUGGED 1:30pm
Fiddle, guitar and vocals; rowdy, tender and true<

Triple Spiral 2pm
Pulsating Celtic music with focus on Brittany and the Scottish Isles and Highlands. 

Flynn Cohen and The Deadstring Ensemble 3pm
Flynn Cohen's band of string geniuses performing original multi-genre acoustic music. 

Cirque De Celtique 4pm 
While a trapeze in the sanctuary is unlikely expect a three ring circus of music, juggling and comedy more.


First Parish Church in Cambridge

The Stoneybatter Band 11am 
Traditional Irish music from lively six-piece band

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Boston 1:30pm
Demonstration and participatory dancing in the Scottish tradition

Boston Scottish Fiddle Club 2:30pm 
Healthy dose of Scots reels, jigs, marches, strathspeys and airs

"Kyte's Kitchen Ceilidh" 5pm
Sociable songs and music of Cape Breton with Kyte MacKillop and Friends

ALSO IN THE ATTIC: "The Children's Corner"
Entertainment for the (much) younger crowd:
11am--Joe Keane: "The Phooka" and other amazing stories
noon--Hannah Sanders and Liz Simmons
1pm--Bridget Fitzgerald and Shannon Heaton: Trad Songs for Wee Ones
3pm--Hurdy-gurdy workshop


First Parish Church in Cambridge

"Flynn Cohen and Matt Heaton Present..."
Deadstring duo Matt Heaton and Flynn Cohen team up with an all-star cast of musicians, singers and dancers from Boston's Celtic music session and concert scene.

With a Little Help from Their Friends Matt Heaton and Flynn Cohen are assembling a grand finale for BCMFest 2012

As the culmination of the annual BCMFest, the festival’s Saturday night finale concert is a venue for area Celtic performers to let their creativity shine and enjoy collaborations that, in some cases, are all too rare on the concert stage.

That’s what BCMFest 2012 finale concert organizers Matt Heaton and Flynn Cohen have in mind. For the January 7 event, the two—who are among the Boston Celtic music scene’s most eminent accompanists—have assembled a multifaceted cast of friends and colleagues, some of whom are seldom seen in this manner of performance. “This is a chance to spotlight a number of musicians who, instead of playing in a sacrosanct concert setting, are more likely found at sessions in loud pubs with other melody players,” explains Cohen. “They’re great players, and we enjoy sitting in with them; now, we’ll be playing together in a context that allows people to hear what excellent musicians they are.”

The guest list includes Tina Lech (fiddle), Ted Davis (flute), Katie McNally (fiddle), Sean Clohessy (fiddle), James Hamilton (flute), Joey Abarta (Uilleann pipes), Kimberly Fraser (fiddle) and Maeve Gilchrist (harp, keyboards).

In addition to playing with the guest musicians and as a duo, Heaton and Cohen -- both of whom play guitar, bouzouki and mandolin -- will appear at the concert as part of their most well-known musical collaborations: Heaton with his wife, Shannon (Irish flute, whistle and vocals); Cohen with his “alt-trad” band Annalivia, which blends traditional Irish, American and English folk music with original material.

Heaton and Cohen also will gather some of their guest performers for a tribute to the Bothy Band, one of the seminal groups in the modern Irish folk music revival. Says Heaton, “We’re looking forward to sharing the stage with people we play music with regularly, but also some of the more underappreciated ’tradition-bearers’ and ‘sessioneers.’ There will be a good sampling of the Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other music that makes Boston such a wonderful place to be a Celtic musician.”

The BCMFest finale concert takes place at 8 p.m. in First Parish Church in Cambridge (corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Church Street in Harvard Square). Tickets are $15, $13 for Passim members, and $5 for age 15 and under; a combo pass for the Saturday BCMFest “Dayfest” and the finale concert is $25, $23 for Passim members.



The Atrium –
4th floor of 50 Church Street 
This is our new URBAN CEILIDH venue!


Club Passim –
47 Palmer St. Harvard Square
Not handicapped-accessible, but near the Harvard Square T. Friday night Kickoff Concert; Saturday Dayfest


First Parish Church in Cambridge
corner of Mass Ave and Church St. Harvard Square
This venue is handicapped-accessible and near the Harvard Square T. 
The Parlor, Attic and Sanctuary stages!
Saturday Dayfest; Saturday Finale Concert







Can I play at the festival? 
BCMFest restricts itself to performers of celtic music who reside or are active in the Boston celtic music community. We are not currently booking acts from other geographic areas or musical styles. If your music fits in with our mission, please see the performers page for information about how to apply.

When are performer applications due? 
August 10, 2010 for the 2011 festival.

I am craft artisan. Can I display my work?
At the present time, we do not have any sort of vendor area.

Why are all most of the venues alcohol free? 
With the exception of Club Passim, which offers beer and wine, we have gravitated towards alcohol free venues so that all events can be open to all ages (please note that even though it serves alcohol, Club Passim does allow children to attend BCMFest events). As in the past, there will be plenty of pubs in the area where you can enjoy an adult beverage if you desire.

Why January? The weather is so bad! 
Precisely. We need something to look forward to! Seriously, the decision was initially made because it tends to be a slow time for touring musicians, so a lot of folks tend to be in town. And there is something about bad weather that helps make good music.

I'd really like to help out. How can I help? 
We'd love to talk to you! Volunteers are needed in almost all areas of event production. Check out the volunteer page for more info.

My question wasn't answered here. Where can I turn for help?
You can get in touch via the contact page. If we don't have an answer, we'll find one.