Boston's Celtic Music Fest


SUNDAY, JULY 2nd, 10am-10pm

Passim Celtic Brunch 10-2

FREE Outdoor Dayfest 2:30-5pm

Ticketed Evening Concert 7pm
Only $10 for Members and Student Members and $18 for Nonmembers



10:00am - 2:00pm Celtic Brunch- Daymark

2:30pm - 5:00pm FREE Outdoor dayfest - Keltic Kids, Rockport Celtic Duo, and Alba's Edge

7:00pm - Katie McNally and Daymark

     The Boston area’s only winter-time Celtic festival will once again make a warm-weather appearance when Club Passim in Harvard Square hosts the third Summer BCMFest on July 2, with 12 hours of some of the best local Celtic music.

    Summer BCMFest is tailored after the annual BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest), a weekend gathering held each January to celebrate Greater Boston ’s richness of music, song and dance from the Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic traditions.

     This year’s event will begin with a special edition of the Live Music Brunch series at Club Passim from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  which launched earlier this year. Featuring traditional Irish music trio Daymark, the “Celtic Brunch” is an opportunity for diners to enjoy brunch accompanied by live music from the stage of the historic Cambridge listening room.

     From 2:30 - 5 p.m., the action will shift outside to Palmer Street (directly adjacent to Club Passim) for a free concert with Keltic Kids, The Rockport Celtic Duo and Alba’s Edge. Summer BCMFest 2017 will conclude with a ticketed evening performance in Club Passim with Daymark and Scottish/Cape Breton-style fiddler Katie McNally. 

Tickets for the evening concert are $18 for the general public, $10 for Passim members and students. For reservations and other information, go to BCMFest is a program of Passim, a Cambridge-based non-profit seeking to build a vibrant music community through its legendary listening venue, music school, artist grants, and outreach initiatives.


Meet the performers for this year’s Summer BCMFest:

Alba’s Edge: Alba’s Edge defines its sound as “a tapestry of cultures”: the expressive melodies of Scottish fiddle music woven together with jazz improvisation and harmony, funk bass lines and the rhythms of Latin America. The band (Neal Pearlman, keyboard and mandolin; Lilly Pearlman, fiddle; Doug Berns, bass; Jacob Cole, drums and percussion) has performed at the New World Festival, the Crossroads Celtic Festival and the first international Celtic Music Festival of Mexico. Among its past BCMFest appearances, Alba’s Edge was the producer and lead act of the 2016 festival’s concluding Nightcap concert, “Changing Currents: The Next Wave of Celtic Music in Boston.”

Daymark: The trio of Will Woodson (flute, border pipes), Eric McDonald (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Dan Foster (fiddle) infuses traditional Irish music with infectious energy, raw power, and Northern swagger through a classic blend of wind and string. Their sound carries echoes of Irish-American dance halls from the 1920s and 30s, the lonesome tones of Donegal country fiddlers and the rollicking smoky pubs of Northern England’s immigrant neighborhoods. Boston native McDonald has appeared frequently at BCMFest and venues across New England over the years in numerous collaborations, including with Woodson, who in addition to his musical work is an established pipemaker (he uses an instrument of his own making). Foster has developed his music through Northern English sessions, studies at Newcastle University, and under the tutelage of master musicians in Limerick.

Keltic Kids: A group of young musicians from Cape Cod, the Keltic Kids play a variety of Celtic music. Their instructor, Clayton march, founded the band to help them establish a foundation for lifelong love of traditional music, and to develop an understanding of its social aspect. The Keltic Kids, who made their BCMFest debut at this past January’s festival, have performed at numerous concerts and farmers markets, as well as the annual Yule For Fuel benefit. 

Katie McNally: The vibrant musical traditions of Scotland and Cape Breton take on new life in the hands of fiddler Katie McNally and pianist Neil Pearlman. Based in Boston and Portland, ME, this musical couple is making waves internationally with their fresh approaches to traditional forms. Their recent album “The Boston States” has drawn rave reviews from listeners and critics alike.

•The Rockport Celtic Duo: Sisters Elizabeth and Mary Kozachek have been playing traditional Celtic music for years and have been dancing the music even longer than they've played it. Elizabeth (fiddle, Anglo concertina) and Mary (fiddle, mandolin, keyboards) have traveled to County Clare as part of a music exchange, and medaled at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in Irish music and dance; Mary has also medaled at New England Scottish fiddle competitions. The duo – which performed at BCMFest 2017 in January – has shared the stage with the likes of great Cape Breton musicians like Mairi Rankin and Mac Morin. 


Past Announcements:

Thank You For Attending the 14th Annual

Boston's Celtic Music Festival


We hope you enjoyed two jam packed days of music, dancing, classes, and fun. Thanks to our great volunteers, performers, committee, the amazing Passim Staff members and box office people, and all of our food sponsors and partners including Whole Foods, Dunkin Donuts, Lambert's, and Cambridge 1. Like the festival? Have a suggestion for next year? Please provide feedback in our online survey (click here) so we can improve the festival. We look forward to seeing you again next year!



Hanneke Cassel BCMFest Photo

Full Festival Passes and Individual Event Tickets On Sale this fall!


Visit our calendar for day passes and individual events.

Full Festival Lineup (Click Image to Enlarge)

Performer Descriptions and Bios (Click Here)



Listen to Passim's executive director Jim Wooster talk about BCMFest in a recent appearance on Cambridge Community Television (CCTV)






BCMFest was born after Laura Cortese (Scottish fiddle) and Shannon Heaton (Irish flute) realized that recently they had seen many great, traditional Celtic music acts playing it the area; they thought it would be exciting if more of the Boston-area trad players worked with local folk music venues like Club Passim, the Burren, Johnny D’s, and the Canadian American Club. Soon after their talk, Laura and Shannon began planning a weekend-long showcase of local traditional talent—a Boston Celtic Music Fest to celebrate the rich, diverse pool of traditional music and dance in the Boston area.

The festival has become a hub for generating ideas, energy, and community support for local, traditional Celtic music and dance performers. In 2011, BCMFest became an official program of Passim. Today, in addition to the annual festival in January, audiences and artists can enjoy monthly concerts at Club Passim that feature a broad selection of Boston-based Celtic music and dance acts.

Our committee and artists are out to make this year's BCMFest stronger than ever, with a renewed vision for the future. By presenting touring professionals, tradition-bearers, and young performers, the festival offers a variety of music not found anywhere else. The list of performers and fans involved in the festival continues to grow, a sign that BCMFest is a vital addition to the Boston music community.