2017 Bangor Celtic Crossroads Festival

The Bangor Celtic Crossroads Festival is akin to a small halls festival. The festival’s mission is to bring high quality music and cultural programming to Bangor from the six Celtic nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man as well as the diaspora, including Maine. The BCC festival is organized by a group of interested folks from the greater Bangor region. They have incorporated, developed a board, applied for a 501 C3 non-profit status and with the help of New England Celtic Arts, put on a concert series that began in January 2017.

The goal of the board is to create a festival that draws visitors to Bangor in mid-September, extending the tourist season, provides economic development to the local economy and creates a really fun as well as educational experience for those who attend.

The larger festival conceived by the board will take place in 2018. But this year, the group is launching a mini-festival to help raise awareness, create a volunteer group and have some fun.

To that end we are bringing two very dynamic performances, Còig on Friday and Matt and Shannon Heaton on Saturday. The two performances represent Scottish (Cape Breton) and Irish musical traditions. Còig includes Darren McMullen, who plays guitar, mandolin, mandola, banjo, bouzouki whistle and flute and vocals, Rachel Davis on fiddle and viola and vocals, Jason Roach on piano and Chrissy Crowley on fiddle and viola.

Matt and Shannon Heaton are poised, passionate American performers with Irish roots and universal appeal. Shannon plays Irish flute and Matt plays guitar. Shannon has a beautiful singing voice and enthralls audiences with her warm connection to their audiences. They move listeners with their love of traditional music (and each other), and their sense of adventure and fun in exploring new directions and possibilities.

Partnering with the Bangor Public Library, the festival will have a gala opening on Thursday September 14 from 6-8 pm. Free and open to the public, the gala will provide Celtic refreshments, an exhibit of Jim Counihan’s photographs of Ireland, a performance of a Scottish folk tale and Celtic harp by Daryne Rockett and an opportunity to connect with others interested in Celtic Cultures. Also on Saturday, the library is hosting two free genealogy workshops to help people learn about their own ancestry.

Following this, guests are invited to listen to the dynamic fiddling of Gus LaCasse at Paddy Murphy’s Pub on Main Street before the Saturday evening performance of Matt and Shannon Heaton.

Ruaile Buaile (Ireland) on August 11, Next Generation Theatre, Brewer

Ruaile Buaile are a young Irish based four piece modern day Trad / Pop / Folk group from Offaly in the heart of Ireland.

The four friends Niall (vocals and guitar), Arthur (fiddle and banjo), Shane (vocals and bass) and Jack (Cajun and banjo) formed in 2011, and have been gaining support from music fans and festival goers across Ireland, UK, Germany, Holland, France, United Arab Emirates, and America to date.

From a small start to the world stage in only a few short years Ruaile Buaile are set to become a household name on the festival scene around the world with their own style of high energy ground thumping celtic beats with a little irish charm and flare these four young award-winning musicians are setting the pace for some of the better known established acts to follow.

Ozere, May 15

2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee Ozere takes inspiration from classical string quartets and world folk bands. With its unique instrumentation – violin, cello, mandolin, bass and occasional vocals – it can do both at once. Fiddler Jessica Deutsch’s compositions bridge her upbringing as a chamber musician and her experience playing many styles as a sidewoman, including Balkan, Celtic and Afro Cuban. This music takes you on a journey, from solemn suites inspired by the Middle East to knee-slapping reels that emit all the joy of an Irish pub session. 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Ozere; they’ll be at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, and touring in the U.S. and Canada over the summer.

Continue reading “Ozere, May 15”

Lennie Gallant, March 11

A native of the Acadian village of Rustico, PEI, Lennie Gallant has recorded eleven albums (nine mostly in English and two in French), which have won him a host of awards and nominations from the JUNOs, the 2017 East Coast Music Awards, and Les Prix Eloizes. He was recently honored with a Canadian Folk Music Award for the year 2015 for his recording Live Acoustic at The Carleton. His album, “When We Get There” was nominated for a Juno Award and went to the International Space Station aboard Shuttle Endeavor with Canadian astronaut Julie Payette.

Over 30 artists have recorded his songs, including Measha Bruggergosman, Ode de L’Acadie, The Rankins, and Jimmy Buffet and his songs have appeared in feature films, television series, and numerous theatrical productions. Lennie has recently wrapped up the second season of his runaway multimedia hit musical, “Searching For Abegweit -The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant”, which ran for over 85 sold out shows in Charlottetown. He has just released a new double CD of 22 songs from that production, and many of the show’s visual images appear in the book, “Peter’s Dream”, a collaboration with sibling visual artist Karen Gallant that showcases 52 of her paintings paired up with his songs. Continue reading “Lennie Gallant, March 11”

Scott Macmillan and Colin Grant, February 6

In July of 2015, award-winning composers and multi-instrumentalists Scott Macmillan and Colin Grant, sat down at Macmillan’s home in Brook Village Nova Scotia to start compiling new and old tunes from their collective traditional and original repertoires. Until that time, they had performed off-the-cuff performances together in venues ranging from the Doryman Tavern in Cheticamp to Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, and the opportunity to arrange and compose yielded a wide spectrum of musical results. Tunes from Scott’s tune-book “Scoobie Tunes” which hadn’t yet seen action were spun into classical, jazz, funk, rock, and blues directions. While the resulting album Good2Go follows a traditional music path of tunes combined into medleys, the musical interplay between the two musicians speaks to the experience, chops, and element of good-old belly rubbing humor that keeps the tunes on a fun, lively path. Continue reading “Scott Macmillan and Colin Grant, February 6”