About 2017-03-15T14:33:23+00:00

I believe what we love is who we are.

I love stories and songs, poems and laughter.  I love teaching and learning.  I love growth and goodness.  I love apples, fountain pens, amber lamplight, walking tours, and the Sea.  I’m wild about evening light in pine trees.  I’m devoted to Irish language and folklore.  I adore people in all their beautiful quirk.  And I’m pretty much besotted with this intimate, bewildering, beloved world.

Living a Bardic Life

I believe that when we sing, tell stories, craft poetry, make music, art, jokes, light in the darkness – we create a world of warmth, connection, meaning, joy, and hope.

I love helping to create that world. I joyfully do my part by singing, playing harp & piano, making poems, telling stories, teaching, writing, performing, recording, and offering welcome, festivity, and a touch of enchantment.

I earned a PhD in Celtic Languages and Literatures from Harvard because I am in love with Irish stories, songs, language, and folklore. I teach and engage in scholarship because these things continue to enliven and delight me. I perform original and traditional songs and tales because sharing what I love brings me the keenest joy. I keep creating because the world keeps inspiring me and I feel called to respond.

In the past, when people asked me, “What are you, really?” I felt forced to choose between my scholarship and teaching on the one hand, and my music, poetry, and creating on the other.

These days, I see the wholeness in what I’ve done and what I’ve loved.

These days, I think of myself as a Bard – a descendant of those early Irish poet/storyteller/magicians.

Like them, I bring everything I love and everything I learn to everything I do.

Turns out, we don’t have to choose. Turns out, it all has a place.

My “Official” Bio

Kate Chadbourne is an award-winning songwriter and poet, a scholar and teacher of Irish language and folklore with a PhD from Harvard, and a beloved performer at venues throughout New England.  She has been honored as a “tradition bearer” in the Revels Salon series and in the Gaelic Roots Concert Series at Boston College, and her music has been featured on NPR’s programs, “Cartalk” and “All Songs Considered.”  She has released four solo CD’s, three collections of poetry, and has collaborated on recordings and live performances with Tim Janis, Lauren Passarelli, The Chanticleers, The Celtic Kates, and many others.  Kate’s newest CD is Songs of the Poets, a gathering of beloved poems she set to music for voice, piano, and harp.  Named as one of “The Most Fascinating People” in Central Massachusetts by the Sentinel and Enterprise Newspaper, Kate is also the founder of The Bardic Academy, a school for great-hearted people learning and growing at the crossroads of art and magic.  She brings to her audiences the sounds of the harp, piano, tin whistle, Irish flute, and melodeon, a deep love and knowledge of traditional Irish story, a warm and welcoming presence, and a voice often described as “the voice of an angel.”

Learn more about joining the Bardic Academy at www.bardicacademy.com and find out about CD’s, books, and upcoming performances at www.katechadbourne.com.