Celebrate St. Paddy’s with Cíana in Carson City
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Cíana, traditional Irish Music as part of BAC Celtic Series
WHEN: Maizie Harris Jesse Black Box Theater, 449 W. King St.
WHEN: Saturday, March 16. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7.
TICKETS: $12 for BAC members, $15 in advance, and $20 at the door. Buy them through BreweryArts.org or by calling the BAC box office at 775-883-1976.
MORE INFO: www.cianamusic.com
The Celtic Series kicks it up a notch for St. Paddy’s day, so wear green, grab a Guinness, and prepare to celebrate the Irish festivities with Cíana.
Cíana is more than excited for St. Paddy’s Day weekend. With four shows in two days, the band will be busy, with the highlight coming Saturday night at the Brewery Arts Center. It’s a special performance for Cíana, as they have many fans in the area since the band originates from the Carson Valley.
“A lot of the crowd are our friends, who come to see us every time we play,” said fiddle player Holly Sternberg. “It’s almost like a reunion.”
Joe Bly (vocals, flute, whistles and guitar) said he loves the intimacy of playing at the Brewery Arts Center. He enjoys that the audience is interactive, and they talk with the band during the performance. It’s much different than playing a noisy pub or a larger stage, like the BAC’s summer concert series, which they are no stranger to.
The Nevada Appeal sat down at the KNVC 95.1 FM studio recently to listen to Cíana perform on the Canyon Club, hosted by Canyon White. The band played traditional jigs and reels and included a Celtic number as well as an original song written by Sternberg. The band glided through their songs for the radio session — joking with each other and sharing knowledge with the audience along the way. They were only missing Kathryn Oxoby, who plays the bodhrán. She was busy teaching children at school, but she will be right there with the band for St. Paddy’s weekend.
Something unique about Cíana is utilizing two fiddle players, which is uncommon in traditional Irish music, fiddle player Tina Carlsen said. Carlsen was in the band since forming it with Joe and his wife, Kathy (guitar, octave mandolin). She took a hiatus from the band for a moment, and Sternberg came in to fill her shoes.
Sternberg made a name for herself by winning awards at the Nevada Fiddle Contest. Joe joked on the program that he couldn’t keep track of them all. She’s won multiple first-place awards including Grand Champion in 2017 and Nevada State Adult Champion in 2017 and 2018.
When Carlsen came back from hiatus, Sternberg stayed, and the band continued to perform with two fiddle players.
“It gives us a lot of depth in melody and a lot more experimentation,” Carlsen said.
They can meld their styles together and times they separate and it sounds amazing, she said.
It’s not hard to see the great chemistry the band has together. While playing music, each band member is connected with each other and you see them smiling with each other when they do something they like. Between songs, they’d joke with each other and transition into new instruments for the next song comfortably. Joe and Kathy mentioned their relationship as husband and wife doesn’t get in the way in the band at all and they don’t always take each other’s side when it comes to music.
“What’s amusing to me, is that we are husband and wife, but in the band we are two musicians,” Joe said.
Cíana said they are grateful for everything the Brewery Arts Center and Gina Hill has done for them. Joe and Kathy organize the Celtic Series, and they thank Hill for going above and beyond when it comes to accommodating the performers traveling to Carson City. They also appreciate all the shows they have played through the BAC and are proud to help bring more Irish music to the region.
“I just love the Brewery Arts Center,” Joe said. “They’ve supported us through so much.”