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Thirteen acts bringing tradition and innovation from Rajastan to Cuba to Egypt will fill stages at Webster Hall in New York City on January 9th, while up in the Bosotn area twenty artists and bands from Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton traditions mix it up Celtic style that same weekend.

globalFEST is the name of the New York event. Its driving force it to present global music acts well poised for wider notice in North America. . It’s scheduled for a time when the Association of Performing Arts Presenters — the people who book schedules for arts centers and artist series across the continent — are meeting, but the Fest is open to all. Those who purchase tickets will be able to choose among three stages featuring artists including Yoro Ndiaye from Senegal, whose music takes a ballad driven approach to the dance based music mbalax, a style made widely know by Youssou N’Dour, the Pedro Martinez Group, whose music includes traditional Cuban son,and timba as well as jazz, and and Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole, with songs passed down through family generations in Hawaii. The Creole Choir of Cuba will also be there with traditions handed down across generations, in their case through the music of the Haitian community in Cuba. Rhythm of Rajastan will bring music of the homeland of the Gypsy people, and Zikrayat, from Egypt, will highlight the diversity of Arabic culture.

The organizers of globalFEST have noted that within the innovative approaches the artists they present offer. this year there seems to be an especially strong interest in presenting tradition along with innovation. That’s an idea familiar to the people of the Boston Celtic Music Festival.

Artist run and artist founded, BCM Fest, as it is known for short, takes advantage of winter days when many touring artists are home from the road to bring together not only members of the Irish music community that’s widely associated with the Boston long time courting bandarea, but artists who work in Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions as well. This years the festival takes place January 7 and 8, with an opening evening featuring both a concert including Long Time Courting, whose repertoire includes both Celtic and American songs, and, in what has become a BCM Fest tradition, the Boston Urban Ceilidh, a high energy dance party which could perhaps best be described as Celtic music meets square dance party meets mosh pit, with really fine music to go along, this year including playing from fiddlers Laura Cortese and Hanneke Cassel. Saturday will be a day filled with concerts and workshops around Harvard Square,. The Festival will conclude with an evening concert at First Parish Church in Harvard Square, featuring the group Halali, comprising three fiddle players and a guitarist, along with special guests.

more about these festivals may be found at

globalFEST website
Boston Celtic Music Festival website

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Kerry Dexter is one of six writers who contribute to Perceptive Travel’s blog. You will often find her writing about places, events, and people connected with music, history, and the arts in Europe and North America. You may find more of Kerry's work at her site Music Road as well as in Wandering Educators, National Geographic Traveler, Ireland and the Americas, and other places online and in print.

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