Alba's Edge with Katie McNally and Eric McDonald
Presented by Alba's Edge
July 28, 2012
On July 28th, the St John's Episcopal Church in Arlington will host a celebration of Boston's vibrant and innovative Scottish music and dance scene in a show that is not to be missed. Scottish fiddle, Cuban and Brazilian rhythms, funky bass lines and a healthy dose of jazz harmony and improvisation come together when Neil Pearlman and his groundbreaking band Alba's Edge unveil their new performance set. An innovative Scottish/jazz pianist, Neil Pearlman ("A force to be reckoned with"–Brian O'Donovan, WGBH), has brought together an unlikely combination of musicians to form a fresh new sound that has been hailed as "a blood pumping delight" by World Music Central and "a wonderful concoction" on BBC Radio Scotland. Co-led by Neil's sister Lilly on the fiddle, the band centers around their dynamic musical relationship, a connection fostered by growing up together in a family steeped in Scottish music and dance. Rounding out the quartet and holding down the grooves that are so distinctive to the band's sound will be Oliver Watkinson on the bass and Jacob Cole on the drums. Opening the show and anchoring it in the Scottish fiddle tradition are Katie McNally and Eric McDonald. Mainstays in the Boston Celtic community, McNally (fiddle) and McDonald (guitar) are each established musicians in their own right, performing frequently around the Northeast with such groups as Cantrip (McDonald) and Childsplay (McNally), among others. They have recently been performing as duo in the Boston area and been very warmly received by packed and sellout audiences for their fresh take on the Scottish fiddle tradition, where carefully arranged traditional pieces seamlessly give way to original compositions. In addition to the musical performances, the show will feature Scottish Highland dancers from the Victoria Major and Cathie Peitzsch Gibbs schools of Scottish Dance in a choreography that melds tradition with modern artistry. The night will close out as all good Celtic celebrations should—with a traditional jam session open to all performers and audience members.