Search This Blog

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Celtic Family Christmas Performs in Amherst on Wednesday, December 4

A Celtic Family Christmas, featuring Canadian stars Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy,  returns to New England to play at UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center on Wednesday, December 4, at 7 p.m.

Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a free pair of tix to the show.  Enter the contest here and check back on December 2 to see the winner.

Or, you can purchase tix online here to ensure your seat at one of the holiday season's most memorable shows. 

The award-winning fiddle virtuosos are joined by their stellar band and their amazingly, talented children, as they invite you into an intimate Cape Breton, MacMaster/Leahy family Christmas celebration. Enjoy familiar Christmas songs intermingled with classic Celtic songs, A Celtic Family Christmas brings you in the door, and welcomes you in as part of the family.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Travel & Culture winter guide features Massachusetts & Ireland

(BOSTON) -- The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) has released its winter 2019/20 issue of Travel & Culture, a compendium of Irish concerts, culinary, cultural and literary activities taking place in Massachusetts and throughout New England.

The magazine is distributed free at visitor kiosks and cultural venues throughout Massachusetts and is available in digital format online on BITA’s home page.

This issue has feature stories about Christmas music in New England, including Boston Holiday Pops, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, and holiday shows at the Irish Cultural Centre, Blackstone River Theatre and other cultural venues. Among the artists profiled are fiddler Liz Carroll and vocalists Chloë Agnew and Niamh Farrell.

Additionally, winter and St. Patrick’s Day activities leading up to March 2020 are included, from parades and concerts to cultural events and commemorations.

The “Ireland” section has stories about Dublin, one of the world’s great literary capitals, and Galway, which is officially named Europe’s cultural capital in 2020. In addition, a schedule of popular group tours from Boston to Ireland is listed.

A map of the Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail, which is celebrating its 25th season in 2019, is included, along with descriptions of the 20 downtown and Back Bay sites along the trail.

BITA is celebrating its 19th year as a year-round, cultural tourism organization that promotes the state’s largest ethnic community. The US Census reports that nearly 24% of all Massachusetts residents claim Irish ancestry.

BITA publishes three issues of Travel & Culture, in March, June and November.

For further details on festivals and concerts, as well as year-round Irish and cultural activities, hotel packages, gift shops and Irish pubs, visit

Friday, November 22, 2019

Irish Cultural Center Welcomes Tom Comerford & Andreas Durkin on November 24

Irish music duo Tom Comerford and Andreas Durkin perform at the Irish Cultural Centre at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 24, 2019.  Tickets to the show at $20 and can be reserved by calling (781) 821-8291.

Comerford, of County Kilkenny, is founder of the seminal band, the Whole Shebang, and a seasoned performer.  Durkin, from County Cavan, is a member of the Young Wolfe Tones. 

The Irish Cultural Centre was formed in 1989 by a group of dedicated Irish leaders to preserve their cultural traditions in Massachusetts and the region for generations to come. The Centre has plenty of other cool activities, including a day camp for kids, lectures, music lessons, theatre and social gatherings.

For year round Irish activities in Massachusetts visit

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wix Concert Tix to A Christmas Celtic Sojourn in Boston & Worcester

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, one of the premier holiday shows in New England,  is performing 16 shows between December 11- 22 at four venues around the region, including Boston, Rockport, Worcester and Providence.

Boston Irish Tourism Association is delighted to offer two chances to win a pair of free tickets to the following shows:

- Saturday, December 14 (7:30 p.m.) at the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, Boston
Click here for Boston show. 

- Tuesday, December 17 (7:30 p.m.) at The Hanover Theatre in Worcester.
Click here for the Worcester show.

This year's cast of performers includes Chicago fiddle master Liz Carroll, Scottish singer Siobhan Miller and more. 

For year round information on Irish/Celtic activities, visit

Monday, November 18, 2019

Fiddle Star Eileen Ivers & Band Perform at Blackstone River Theatre on November 23

Grammy®-Awarded and Emmy-nominated, Eileen Ivers and her band Universal Roots perform at 8 p.m. at the Blackstone River Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 23, 2019.  Tickets to the show are $26 in advance and $30 at the door. 

Update: This Show is now Sold Out!
Ivers continues to push the fiddling tradition boundaries from a folk music staple to a powerfully beautiful and intensely driving world stage experience. The ensemble features Matt Mancuso (lead vocals, guitar, trumpet, fiddle), Buddy Connolly (button accordion, whistles, piano, vocals), Lindsey Horner (upright and electric bass, baritone sax, vocals), Dave Barckow (lead vocals, percussion, guitar), joining together with Eileen on fiddle, mandolin, banjo, bodhran, and live looping.

See schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, considered one of New England's finest acoustic venues.

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

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Goody Glover Day in Boston Recalls Irish Woman Hung as a Witch by Puritan Zealots

On November 16, 1988 Boston City Council proclaimed Goody Glover Day, in tribute to Goodwife Ann Glover, an Irish women accused of being a witch by Cotton Mather and other Boston Puritan leaders.  Raymond L. Flynn was mayor.

An editorial in The Boston Globe, dated November 17, 1988, noted that a group of academics and a businessman "have formed a committee to erect a memorial on Boston Common or at the State House, where statues commemorate Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer, who were also victims of religious intolerance.   A memorial to Glover would be a reaffirmation by today's citizens that bigotry in any form is intolerable. The efforts deserve support."
Glover was an Irish captive sent to Barbados by Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s.  Her husband died there, and by 1680 she and her daughter were living in Boston, employed as housekeepers by John Goodwin.  In summer 1688 four of the five Goodwin children fell ill.  The doctor concluded "nothing but a hellish Witchcraft could be the Origin of these maladies."  Martha, the 13 year old daughter, confirmed the doctor's diagnosis by claiming she became ill right after she caught Glover stealing laundry.

Glover was arrested and tried as a witch. In the courtroom there was confusion over Glover's testimony, since she refused to speak English, despite knowing the language.  According to Mather, "the court could have no answers from her, but in the Irish, which was her native language." The court convicted Glover of witchcraft and sentenced her to be hanged on November 16, 1688.

James B. Cullen, author of The Story of the Irish in Boston (1889) wrote, "she was drawn in a cart, a hated and dreaded figure, chief in importance, stared at and mocked at, through the principal streets from her prison to the gallows….The people crowded to see the end, as always; and when it was over they quietly dispersed, leaving the worn-out body hanging as a terror to evil-doers."

It is commonly assumed that Glover was hanged at the public gallows on the Boston Common on the great elm that was destroyed in a storm in 1876.  But Cullen reported that Glover was hanged in the South End, on the site of the South End Burying Ground on Washington Street.

and that same year a plaque (photo above) was placed at Our Lady of Victories Church in Boston's South End/Bay Village neighborhood by the InternationalOrder of Alhambra, a Catholic Men's organization that marks Catholic landmarks around the world.

The plaque to Ann Glover at Our Lady of Victories Church is a stop along Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail.

For more about Irish heritage in Boston, visit

For details on Irish cultural activities year round, visit

Scottish Singer Archie Fisher Performs at Blackstone River Theatre on Sunday, November 17

Master guitarist, singer and songwriter Archie Fisher performs at the Blackstone River Theatre in Rhode Island at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, 2019.  Tickets to the show are $18 and $22 at the door.  For reservations call 401 725-9272.  

Regarded a Scotland's foremost troubadour, Fisher is known throughout the country as the host of BBC Radio Scotland's award-winning "Travelling Folk" show, which he has presented for more than 30 years. Recognized for his contributions to Scottish folk music, he was inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

Here is a full schedule of upcoming events at Blackstone River Theatre, considered one of the finest acoustic concert halls in New England.

For more Irish/Scottish/Celtic music in New England, visit

Win Concerts Tickets to Upcoming Celtic Christmas Performances in Massachusetts

Boston Irish Tourism Association is offering multiple chances to win concert tickets to some of the best holiday shows in Massachusetts during the upcoming Christmas season.

Check out these concerts below, and enter the ones you would like to attend.  Or, you can just purchase tickets directly to these concerts, to ensure your seats at some of the best Christmas performances you'll hear in Massachusetts in December.

December 4
Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy: A Celtic Family Christmas 
UMass Fine Arts Center, Amherst

December 8

The Irish Tenors: We Three Kings 
Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell

December 8
The New York Tenors: The Spirit of Christmas 
John Hancock Hall, Boston

December 13
Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy: A Celtic Family Christmas 
The Cabot, Beverly

December 14

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan 
Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston

December 17

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan 
The Hanover Theatre,  Worcester 

For a list of all Christmas concerts coming up in December 2019 in New England, click here

Friday, November 15, 2019

IL DIVO performs A Holiday Christmas Celebration at Orpheum in Boston on November 17

IL DIVO, the world's most popular classical-crossover singing group, is performing its "A Holiday Song Celebration" tour at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston at 8 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, 2019. 

Tickets range from $39 to $348 and you can purchase online. 

Renowned for seamlessly blending opera and pop music, the international quartet is performing songs from The Christmas Collection, the group's compilation of holiday classics that was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Expect to hear memorable interpretations of familiar Christmas melodies for a heart-warming start to the festive season.

Comprised of German-born Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, French pop singer-songwriter Sébastien Izambard, classically trained tenors Swiss Urs Bühler and American David Miller, these sublime male singers have thrilled audiences around the world with their vocal power and range of songs, along with a breathtaking production that includes dancers and acrobats.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Canadian-American Club Holds Annual Gala/Fundraiser on November 3 in Watertown

The Canadian American Club in Watertown MA is holding its annual Gala/Fundraiser on Sunday, November 3, 2019, from 1-8 p.m.  Suggested donation is $20.

Among the performers are the Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Boston chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri EireannSee full line-up of performers here.

The Canadian-American Club is the outgrowth of a group of Canadian expatriates dating back to the 1930, according to author Michael Quinlin.  The group formed a Canadian-American League on May 19, 1937.  A story in The Boston Globe published on the following day, wrote that the group was "seeking 1,000 charter members....(and) more than 200 attended" the first meeting.

Attorney Joseph S. O'Neill, the organizer and first president of the Canadian-American League, was originally from Prince Edward Island, according to his obituary in The Boston Globe published on August 20, 1938.  Other officers at the time included Alexander C. Chisholm, treasurer; Mrs. Colin W. MacDonald, secretary; and Jeannette C. Chisholm, assistant secretary.

Judging from the many Scottish and Irish names cited in the Globe story, the organizers were largely comprised of immigrants who had come to the Boston area from the Maritime provinces.

In June 1969, the group purchased the building at  at 202 Arlington Street in Watertown, which eventually became known as the Canadian American Club. A number of Canadian government officials visited the Club in the early years, such as Nova Scotia Premier Gerald A. Regan in 1972, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Canadian-American League; and Cecil Miller, Speaker of the Provincial House, Prince Edward Island in 1973.  

According to the group, "the Canadian American Club celebrates Canadian culture in all its diversity and particularly fosters the distinctive Gaelic traditional music and dance of the Maritimes."

Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann has been holding its monthly sessions and dances at the Club since the late 1970s.  

Find year round details on Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton music in Massachusetts by visiting

Newport Restaurant Week runs through November 10, 2019

This year's Newport Restaurant Week in Rhode Island runs through November 10, 2019.  Part of a nationwide movement, the annual culinary celebration debuted here in 2006 to encourage both residents and visitors to Newport and Bristol counties to experience the vast culinary talent in our destination at an affordable price. 
More than 50 participating restaurants are offering extraordinary two-course prix fixe lunches for $20, three-course prix fixe dinners for $35 and a three-course premier prix fixe dinner for $50.
In addition to the extraordinary cuisine, visitors come to Newport for its coastal beauty, historical destinations and cultural amenities.  Read more about Newport here
For year-round information on visiting Newport, go to DiscoverNewport.org

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bluegrass Band Mile Twelve Performs at Blackstone River Theatre on November 2

Boston-based bluegrass band Mile Twelve performs the Blackstone River Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Tickets to the show at $16 in advance or $20 at the door.  Call for reservations at 401 725-9272.

They'll be performing songs from their newest album, City on a Hill.  The lineup consists of five of the most promising young musicians in bluegrass: David Benedict (mandolin), Catherine “BB" Bowness (banjo), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Evan Murphy (guitar, lead vocals), and Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals). 

International Bluegrass Music Association has recognized the group as  emerging bluegrass artists, when Mile Twelve won the band category in 2017. In 2018, Keith-Hynes and Benedict secured IBMA Momentum Awards in instrumental categories, while the band earned two major IBMA Award nominations for Emerging Artist and Instrumental Performance of the Year in 2018.

Here's a schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, considered one of the finest acoustic music venues in New England.