Kids and families are a big part of the Boston Celtic community – hey, where are all those future fiddlers, accordionists, singers and dancers going to come from? – and certainly have a place at BCMFest. This year, in fact, BCMFest is devoting the first part of the January 12 “Dayfest” to entertainment aimed at the young, and the slightly less-young accompanying them.
The fun starts at 10 a.m. in Club Passim, with The Bell Family. Jerry and Nancy have long been sharing the tunes, songs, dances and stories of Ireland and Scotland with children, earning a Parents Choice Award in the process. In recent years, they have been joined by their own kids, Katie and Calum, in offering up an energetic, engaging, often uproarious introduction to Celtic music.
After the Bells will be the concert premiere of “Three Ducks and a Goose,” a special project by two of Boston’s most distinguished Irish musicians, fiddler Brendan Tonra and pianist Helen Kisiel. A few years ago, Brendan composed a tune inspired by a memory of his childhood in County Mayo, and with Helen’s encouragement and assistance, turned into a song and then a children’s book with accompanying CD. Join Brendan and Helen and their friends for this great moment in BCMFest history. [You can read more about the book here.]
JAN. 2 UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Brendan and Helen will be unable to perform at the festival this year.
Most people know Matt Heaton as a brilliant guitar, bouzouki and bodhran player, especially in Irish music his duo with wife Shannon. But Matt’s got a few other aspects to his musical personality (including a devotion to surf rock, which you can see later on at “Dayfest”), and at BCMFest, he’ll show his talents at leading songs for kids, something he’s become quite experienced in as the father of a two-year-old. When Matt’s around, look for big smiles on those little faces.
Finally, you can listen to the fiddle quartet Skylark, four young ladies who have been students of longtime BCMFest friend Laurel Martin. The tradition they play may be old, but Ciara McGillivray, Gabriella Barham, Natalya Kay Trudeau and Fiona Henry give Irish music a youthful spark.
Of course, all families are different, and enjoy different things — the above is only a sampling of the fun that awaits at BCMFest. So check the festival schedule and see what else might tickle those inter-generational fancies.
More information on BCMFest available via the Passim website.