How it’s New York: BZH-New York Is a New York-based organization that promotes Breton events in the city. How many other cities have a Breton society! Charles Kergaravat, the leading light of the organization, compares St. Yves to St. Patrick’s Day.DSC_0082
How it’s Irish: The May 21 concert at Irish Arts Center combines Breton and Irish cultures. Not to be missed!

A St. Yves Concert

A Fête de la Bretagne / St. Yves’s Day celebration bringing together Breton and Irish cultures by featuring live Breton-Irish music from Samuel Le Henanff Quartet with a Breton whisky and Irish cheese tasting

The Breton dancers and musicians that were the finale of Mick Moloney’s Celtic Appalachia in March were unforgettable. I wrote:

The evening came to a close with a colorful, and loud, performance from several Breton ensembles, presented by BZH New York (The Breton Society of New York).

In overlapping French they sang to each other, and then were joined onstage by musicians who played the bombard – like a medieval oboe – and the biniou cult, which is a kind of bagpipe. They just kept. Coming. There were over 40 people on stage. Then the lights came on and we saw dancers, costumed in some kind of period peasant attire, joined hands and coming down the aisle – 40 or more of them. They began pulling people from seats to dance with them, too.

I’ll get the whole review up later today (long overdue!). But if you missed that, here’s your chance to have some fun with Breton music and singing, this week at Irish Arts Center:

St. Yves is celebrated worldwide by Bretons, similarly to the Irish celebration of St Patrick’s Day. From Brest to Vitré, from Pornic to Dol-de-Bretagne, and including Paris, Le Havre, New York and Beijing, St. Yves is celebrated for 11 days worldwide with a thousand different facets. Join BZH New York and Irish Arts Center for an unforgettable festive evening of Breton-Irish music, featuring a Breton whisky tasting of the “best European single malt whisky” Armorik Single Malt, and Warenghem whisky served with Irish cheese. A unique experience to (re)discover Brittany and Ireland’s Celtic traditions!

May 21
Tasting from 7:30 pm – 8 pm
Music 8 pm – 9 pm

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.