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Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy’s “A Celtic Family Christmas” preview 

click to enlarge Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m., 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$69.75, all ages, 255-3134, uccspresents.org
  • Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m., 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $20-$69.75, all ages, 255-3134, uccspresents.org


Glance at a photo of Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy surrounded by their five precocious kids, and it’s hard not to be reminded of the von Trapp family from The Sound of Music. Just add lederhosen, subtract violins, and you can easily imagine them frolicking around Salzberg with Julie Andrews. Instead, they’ll be making the rounds in North America this month with their Celtic Family Christmas tour.

As you might guess, the world-class fiddlers and their kids go heavy on the step-dancing and sentimentality — reviewers make ominous reference to “wee ones and a wagon” and a little drummer boy who “bops, jumps and jives” — but the Nova Scotia couple’s music is by no means vacuous. Both are masters of their instrument, with a shared resumé that includes numerous Juno Awards as well as collaborations with artists ranging from Alison Krauss to Yo-Yo Ma.

So even if the going gets a bit treacly at times, you can still count on them to include enough traditional Celtic music and original compositions to make it worthwhile.

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