UPDATE: The Session at Bagitos has been cancelled in hopes to keep people safe from Covid-19. Stay healthy everyone!
This weekend, we will not only be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but we’ll also be celebrating the end of era – the Saturday session at Bagitos in Montpelier. Saturday, March 14 from 2-5pm will be the last session at Bagitos as the restaurant is closing its doors.
Irish Session at Bagitos – the History
It all started one Tuesday night, about 9 years ago, when I was asked by my friend and fellow fiddler Rubin Bennett, if I wanted to start an Irish session at a new bagel and burrito restaurant in Montpelier, called Bagitos. And so it began.
The session went on for a few weeks on Tuesday nights, when I passed the buck to local Irish music icons; button accordion player, Hilary Koehler, piper, Benedict Koehler, and fiddler, Sarah Blair, who took over hosting the session and switched the day to Saturdays. That seemed to be an easier day to capture out-of-town visitors and other traveling musicians.
The format changed a little to become an unaccompanied session – melody instruments only. The intent was to keep the music pure. Accompaniment was (and still is) by invitation only. This is not to exclude anyone but to keep the melodies as pure as possible.
What’s so special about this session?
This music is about community, it’s a social endeavor that unites people from all over the world and from generation to generation. Who would have known that throughout these past 9 years, the session has become so well known that musicians from all over the world have stopped by either accidentally or by invitation, for a tune or two.
International stars such as Alistair Fraser, Liz Carroll, Seamus Connelly, and bands such as Full Set and lots more would come to share the music (the full list of musicians is at the bottom of this post).
The most special thing about this music and this session is that some of the world’s greatest traditional Irish musicians would sit side by side with amateur musicians to play music together. There were new friendships made, old friendships rekindled, new tunes tunes learned and old tunes relearned.
The session has enhanced the growing traditional Irish music community and though Bagitos is closing its doors, the session will live on down the street at the Rabble-Rouser at 64 Main Street in Montpelier on Saturdays, from 2-5pm.
Please join us this Saturday, March 14th at Bagitos on 28 Main Street in Montpelier from 2-5pm for one last tune at this location. Come share a tune, dance or just listen as we say good-bye to an era and hello to a new one.
Thank you to all the local musicians who come out and play every week.
Thank you to all the traveling musicians who stopped in to share a tune.
Thank you to all the listeners who enjoy the music.
Thank you to all the dancers who dance to the music.
And a very special thank you to Bagitos who hosted the session for the last 9 years.
Musicians who have visited and played in the Bagitos session:
Liz Carrol, Alisdair Fraser, Michael Tubridy, the Rowsome family, Brian McNamara, the band Full Set, Hamish Moore, Randal Bays, Gearóid o’hallmhurain, Sean McComiskey, Tommy Keene, Seamus Connolly, Emmett Gill, Fionnan MacGowan, Fiachra O’Regan, Michael Cooney, Eanna Drury, Kieran O’Hare, Mark Remond, Deb Quigley, Kathleen Conneely, Norman Kennedy, Gary West, Ivan Goff, Jerry O’Sullivan, Margaret Bennett, Skippers Alley, Rialta (band), Pat Broaders, Sean McKiernan, and Mike McHale.
Some Videos of the Bagitos Irish Session