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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Irish Trad Duo Agee & Sousa Perform at Irish Cultural Centre on January 27, 2019

Adam Agee and Jon Sousa, two traditional musicians from Colorado, perform at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, MA at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 27, 2019.

Tickets are $20 general admission or $15 for ICC members.

"This fiddler and guitarist from Colorado play the music with sensitivity and soul... and their own brand of modernism to the Irish tradition," wrote Irish Music Magazine.

Here is a schedule of upcoming events at the Irish Cultural Centre, a year round facility for promoting Irish culture, sports, language and heritage in New England.

For year round details on Irish and Scottish culture in New England visit

New England Celebrates Scottish Poet Robert Burns

Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796), is revered and celebrated in his native country and around the world.  Burns Night began in 1801, five years after Burns’ death, and has continued enthusiastically ever since.

This devotion to Burns’ memory is especially evident in New England, where generations of Scots and Scots-Irish have settled over the past 400 years.

To honor his birthday each year, New Englanders celebrate with traditional Scottish music and song, poetry and toasts and cuisine and congeniality.  Here is a selection of Robert Burns celebrations that take place in 2019, compiled by the Boston Irish Tourism Association.

January 25
Robert Burns Scottish Night
Irish Cultural Centre
200 New Boston Road, Canton
The weekly music session at the ICC on January 25 is devoted to Scottish music and particularly the works of Robert Burns, Scotland's great poet and writer. The session is free and open to the public.

January 26
Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern
Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main St.
Popular bagpiper Eric Goodchild emcees the Robert Burns Dinner in historic Deerfield. Socializing starts at 5 p.m. with dinner starting at 6 p.m. Expect a traditional supper, music, songs and poetry, a “stabbing o’ the haggis and the skirl of the pipes” in celebration of Scotland’s national poet.

January 26
Mechanics Hall
321 Main Street, Worcester
A night of piping, poetry and Scottish ceilidh music with Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band.  Dinner includes roast beef and chicken picatta. 

January 26
Scottish Arts, Inc presents
Masonic Temple
200 Main Street
Nashua NH
This 4th annual Robert Burns gathering in Nashua features good food, good whisky, haggis, piping, dance, good cheer and good poetry.  The event is hosted by Scottish Arts, Inc., a non-profit organization that teaches Highland dance, bagpipes, fiddle and drum throughout the year.

January 26 & 27

The Haven
2 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston
The Haven’s Burns Night includes a three-course meal of haggis, cullen skink, and more (with vegetarian options available), a single malt scotch toast, songs and poetry. Piper Elias Alexander entertains with Scottish music, and there is an address to the Haggis and a toast to the lassies.

January 27
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Congregation
7 Harrington Road, Lexington
New England tenor Austin Burns and special guest Allison Flanagan present a concert dedicated to Scotland poet Robert Burns. Sets include songs about the countryside and “wild men” like Burns himself as well as dance music and ballads. Featured arrangements are by Maureen McMullan, a professor at Berklee College of Music, Arthur Foote, Franz Haydn and Austin Burns. Participants are encouraged to wear kilts, tartan colors and dancing shoes to the concert. A freewill offering will defray expenses.

January 29
The Burren Pub
247 Elm Street, Davis Square, Somerville
6 – 10 p.m.
First organized in 2010, this community event takes place in one of the Boston area’s most notable tradition music pubs, this annual celebration of Robert Burns features a traditional Scottish meal, Scotch whisky, recitations of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard of Scotland and a pub sing-along. The event takes place in the acoustically superior Burren Back Room and there is a vegetarian option for the meal. 

February 2
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
99 Erdman Way, Leominister
Celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns, this event features music by popular Scottish singer Charlie Zahm with special guests the Scots Highland Pipes and Drums, plus Katriona and Calum Bell.  The meal features a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings ad haggis.  The event is hosted by Class Act Imports and proceeds benefit Friends Never Forget and Operation Camp.

February 2
New England Scottish Arts Centre
Saint Methodios Center
329 Camp Merrimack Road
Contoocook, NH
Reception, cocktails in the Great Room. Celtic Beats plays for ceilidh dancing, traditional Burns toasts. Dinner includes steak tips, neeps, tatties and haggis.  Featured musicians include Campbell (pipes) and Marielle (fiddle) Webster.

February 8-9
Marblehead Little Theatre
12 School Street, Marblehead
A romantic and rousing concert celebrating Scotland’s Robert Burns, musicians include piper, singer and fiddler Elias Alexander, singer Julianne Gearhart and pianist Neil Pearlman, with narration by BBC’s Rhod Sharp. This year’s concert brings a musical vision to Burns’ poem of pub society, horse riding under the influence and a dance of witches.

February 16
Hamilton Hall
9 Chestnut Street, Salem
Seated Supper, Open Bar, Poetry, Scottish Dancing, Scotch Whisky Tasting with Brand Ambassadors and Experts. Also, enter to win a free trip to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, provided by the National Trust for Scotland.

Read about the statue to Robert Burns in downtown Boston. 

Find out more about Irish and Scottish cultural activities in New England by visiting

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Uilleann Piper Jerry O'Sullivan Performs at the Chatham Fiddle Company, Cape Cod on January 26

Jerry O'Sullivan, considered to be one of America's foremost uilleann pipers, performs at the Chatham Fiddle Company in Chatham, Cape Cod, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2019.  Suggested donation is $20.

A native of New York, Jerry has appeared on 90+ albums and has performed or recorded with artists such as The Boston Pops, Don Henley, Paul Winter, James Galway, Dolly Parton, The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, The Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Eileen Ivers, and many others.

Located at 875 Main Street in one of the Cape's most picturesque towns, the Chatham Fiddle Company is owned and operated by Rose Clancy, master fiddler and instrument maker. 

Find year round information on Irish activities in New England by visiting 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Gives State of the City Address on January 15, 2019

Mayor Walsh State of the City Address in 2019
(Image Courtesy of BNN News)
Mayor Marty Walsh gave his annual State of the City address to at Boston Symphony Hall on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. The Mayor reviewed the City Of Boston’s progress and presented his 2019 agenda before an auditorium of Boston residents, business leaders, elected officials and community activists. 
Watch the live stream of the speech here:

Here is an annotated transcript of Walsh's speech from The Boston Globe. 
The 50 year old son of Irish immigrants from Connemara, County Galway, was first elected in November 2013.  Since then he has become one of the state's most popular politicians who has built a solid record in affordable housing, economic development, arts & culture, immigrant rights and opportunities for all Boston residents. 
Here is a list of Irish-American mayors of Boston dating back to 1885, when Hugh O'Brien was the first Irishman elected to the office of mayor. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Fellswater, Celtic Band, Performing at Blackstone River Theatre on Saturday, January 12

Fellswater, a dynamic Celtic 8-piece ensemble based out of Boston, performs at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2019.  

Tickets are $16 in advance by calling 401 725-9272 or $18 at the door.  

Fellswater is known for playing a wide range of music from traditional to modern compositions, drawing from the music of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Canada. 

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre this winter.  

Find out more about Irish activities in New England by visiting

2019 St. Patrick's Day Parades in Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Cape Cod St Patrick's Parade

(BOSTON) -- The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) today released its 2019 schedule of St. Patrick’s Day parades taking place in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in March. See parade details here.

The marching season kicks off on Saturday, March 9 with the Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and ends on Sunday, March 24 with the newly announced St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Weymouth.  Among the highlights this year: Abington is celebrating its 40th anniversary as one of the premier parades in New England.

Since one in five residents of both Massachusetts and Rhode Island claim Irish ancestry, the St. Patrick’s Day season is a chance for visitors to explore the state’s rich ethnic culture, history and heritage. 

In addition, Ireland's St. Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin run from March 14-18.

Here is information on other New England Irish activities in March 2019. 

BITA publishes three issues of Travel & Culture magazine in March, June and November.  The free magazine, available at tourism outlets, hotels and cultural venues, focuses on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England states, as well as travel to and from Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

See current issue of Travel & Culture here. Past issues can be viewed in our archive.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

President Kennedy's City on a Hill Speech at the Massachusetts State House

On January 9, 1961, newly elected U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave his farewell speech to the Massachusetts Legislature as he departed for Washington D.C. to be sworn in as the nation's 35th president.

He vowed to carry the characteristics that shaped him in Massachusetts, where "leaders shaped our destiny long before the great Republic was born.  Its principles have guided our footsteps in times of crisis as well as in times of calm.  Its democratic institutions including this historic body have served as beacon lights for other nations as well as our sister states.....

"For what Pericles said to the Athenians has long been true of this commonwealth - 'We do not imitate, for we are a model to others....'

"The enduring qualities of Massachusetts - the common threads woven by the pilgrim and the puritan, the fisherman and the farmer, the Yankee and the immigrant, and will not be and could not be forgotten in this nation's executive mansion.  they are an indelible part of my life, my convictions, my view of the past and my hopes for the future....

"I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arabella 331 years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier. 'We must always consider,' he said. 'That we shall be as a city upon a hill — the eyes of all people are upon us.' Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us.”
Listen to the entire speech from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library archives.

Read more about the 
Kennedy legacy in Massachusetts.