Traditional Irish music group Fódhla, along with Mia Bertelli with Benjamin Foss, will join forces to ring in Saint Patrick’s Day at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 17, at One Longfellow Square in Portland. Fiddles, flute, guitars, whistles, bouzouki, and voice will keep your toes tapping through rollicking jigs and reels, timeless ballads, and buoyant sing-alongs.


Fódhla (pronounced foe-luh) brings high-energy and stellar artistry to the traditional music stage. The trio’s sound is firmly rooted in the traditional Irish melodies and ornamentation that fiddler Ellery Klein and flute player Nicole Rabata honed during years spent abroad in Ireland’s cities Cork, Limerick, and Ennis. Fiddle and flute tunes are superbly supported by guitarist Bethany Waickman, whose inventive, tasteful chords unfold with driving rhythm perfected from years of playing for contradances.

Cognizant of their North American roots, Fódhla aims to appeal to a broad audience by bringing variety, inventive harmonies, and unique arrangements to traditional music. A typical concert starts off with high-energy traditional sets of Irish reels and jigs. Fiddle and flute then trade melody and harmonies on a Québécois waltz paired with an elegant French bourrée. A joyful and toe-tapping pair of barndances soar out on a high note. Finally, the soft notes of guitar bring in a melancholy, exquisite slow air – music that brings out audible sighs from a rapt audience.


Mia Bertelli is a singer known for her expressive phrasing, versatility, and love of playful nuance. Her voice was once described as “the sonic equivalent of light filtering through fog rising off a pond in the morning.” Her musical approach is informed by a background in international polyphonic folk music, solo ballads from Ireland and Appalachia, Swedish cattle calling, and a deep love for pop, soul, and jazz. As such, it can perhaps best be described as irrepressibly distractible, yet rooted in an unequivocal love for the art of turning human experience into sound, and the power of music to create, celebrate, and shift culture. She has performed across the northeast and internationally with choirs and small-group ensembles as a singer, fiddler, and banjo player, but most winter days can find her singing along with Lianne LaHavas songs while preparing artful coffees in Belfast.

Benjamin Foss is a musician and luthier based in Brooks. Benjamin grew up in southern New England playing fiddle and guitar for contra dances, and has become known for his playing across a variety of instruments and styles, from sparse electric guitar to driving tenor banjo to Quebecois button accordion. Benjamin’s focus has always been on the traditional dance music of New England, and his greatest joy is digging old, forgotten tunes out of the archives and bringing them back to the granges and dance halls of Maine with new energy and life. For more information, visit

Doors open at 7 p.m. One Longfellow Square is located at 181 State St., Portland. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 at the venue (from 2-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday), online anytime at, or at the door on the day of the concert for $20.

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