WGBH Presents "A Celtic Sojourn: Roots & Branches Concert" With Brian O'Donovan

Boarding House Park
40 French Street
Lowell, MA Venue Information
Buy Tickets Friday August 19, 2016 7:30 PM
$35 in advance / $110 premium / $40 day of concert
No ticket fees!

In 2015, Brian O'Donovan and WGBH launched its Celtic Sojourn Roots and Branches Concert as part of the Lowell Summer Concert Series. Well, it may just become a yearly tradition as again this summer, Brian O'Donovan will curate and host a range of traditional and contemporary artists from around the Celtic World in what promises to be a highlight in the series, and by the way, a highlight of the summer's Celtic calendar in New England.

Local, regional, and national broadcasts of O'Donovan's radio program, A Celtic Sojourn over the past 28 years have proven extraordinarily popular. This concert will follow the format established for the still growing Christmas Celtic Sojourn series of concerts which, during this past December, played to over 14,000 people in the area, and A St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn which in 2015 expands from its multiple shows in Cambridge, to New Bedford and Worcester, and the Burren Backroom Series goes from strength to strength.

"Live Music is where it's at," O'Donovan is fond of saying. "I love to invite audiences into the heart of the music, and there is nothing like seeing and hearing it in-person. Our Lowell audience last year was really special on that gorgeous August evening. And this year, our line-up is just amazing."

"Each Saturday on air at WGBH and with a growing world-wide audience on the web, we explore and celebrate the roots and branches of Celtic music. This concert will do just that again, up-close and personal at beautiful Boarding House Park in historic Lowell. That is one of my personal favorite venues in all of New England."

This year's concert includes performers from Ireland, US, and Canada.

Girsa (pronounced Girsha)

Girsa has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere with their melodious voices, electrifying musicianship and witty banter. Their energetic and enthusiastic performances of Traditional Irish music, song and dance have been met with outstanding acclaim. Maeve, Deirdre, Blaithin, Bernadette, Pamela and Emily bring a creative mix of fiddle, accordion, banjo, tin whistle, bodhran, guitar and piano to their shows. Their individual instrumental and vocal excellence combine to create a powerful force that is breaking into the forefront of Irish music in the US. Their first two CDs received rave reviews and their third CD is currently in the works. There's an exciting future ahead for Girsa.

Find more info at: girsamusic.com

Kevin Crawford and Cillian Vallely
with Patrick Doocey

Two members of the super-group Lunasa, Kevin and Cillian have been touring as a duo for many years. Sharing a love for traditional Irish music, their approach truly spans the roots and branches this concert promises. Cillian is a master of the ancient Irish form of the pipes, the Uileann (prounounced: ill-en) Pipes, and it's a wonder to behold. Kevin, born in England of Irish parents, is regarded as one of the finest flute/whistle players in the tradition and specializes in the music of his parent's County Clare. The duo will be joined for this concert by Patrick Doocey who was born in Worcester, MA to a very musical family but grew up in Co. Mayo where his family returned to in his childhood.

Find more info at: lunasa.ie


Through centuries of emigration, Irish and Scottish music has been spread around the world. When it reached Canada, it blended easily with the passionate French music it encountered in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and in this case, Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands. The result: a riveting and highly entertaining blend of these strong traditions, singing, dancing, and exhilarating instrumentals. All three members of Vishten are direct descendants of the first colonial families that inhabited their respective islands and second-generation traditional musicians. Twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc were raised on Prince Edward Island and grew up in a household where fiddle music and percussive dancing was a common part of everyday life. Similarly, Magdalen Islander Pascal Miousse's home was a frequent meeting place for traveling fiddlers and music sessions.

Find more info at: vishtenmusic.com/welcome

Dancers: Kevin Doyle and the Miller Family

In March of this year, at a St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn which played to almost 5,000 people in three cities, Kevin Doyle and The Miller Family dancers rocked. So much so, that Brian has invited them back for this special concert in Lowell. You won't want to miss this. Kevin is the recipient of a 2014 National Heritage Fellowship in Irish Dance from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor bestowed on a traditional artist in the U.S., Kevin Doyle learned his first jigs and reels from his Roscommon-born mother. With more than 55 years of dance under his feet, Kevin brings this legacy to a national and international stage where his passionate performance, cheerful choreography, and energetic teaching style show no sign of stopping for a breath.

Find more info at: kevindoyledance.com

The Miller Family

The Miller Family, siblings Ruby May, Evelyn and Samuel from Smithfield, Rhode Island, have been dancing and competing for more than a dozen years with the Goulding School of Irish Dance in Medford, MA and Cranston, RI. They have represented their school in national and international contests, most recently in Montreal at the 2015 World Irish Dancing Championships where they earned World Medals with Samuel capturing 6th place. They have performed at a variety of venues in Rhode Island including the Blackstone River Theater and Providence Performing Arts Center, sharing with audiences the toe-tapping rhythms of traditional dance.

Series Sponsors


Lowell Summer Music Series

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