March 11th – 7:30-9:30pm
IONA has been at the forefront of the Celtic Music revival since the band’s inception in
1986. Founded by Barbara Tresidder Ryan and Bernard Argent, IONA has evolved over
the past 20 years into what is probably the most comprehensive pan Celtic band in the
world. IONA’s mission: to present the rich musical elements of all the Celtic cultures —
Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Manx, Cornish, Breton, Asturian and Galician, blending them
into a tapestry that resolves in the New World, as evidenced in Appalachian, Cape Breton
and Cajun cultures.
IONA has researched its material extensively, traveling to all the Celtic lands to excavate the
traditions and learn from those from whom the music originated. Barbara Tresidder Ryan
(lead vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán, guitars, “pieds”), named Barbara Allen after the folk song,
grew up in a Cornish/Scottish family that sang and played traditional music all her life;
Bernard Argent (flute, whistles, percussion, vocals), a native Briton, brought his deep
knowledge and love of the music to the band’s core. They are joined by Leigh Oben (bass
guitars, whistles, vocals), and Jim Queen (fiddle/banjo/vocals), whose Scotch-Irish
background has informed his playing through 30 years with the Air Force Band.