IONA's music is a unique, acoustic weave of the traditional music of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany (France), the Isle of Man and Galicia (Spain). Blending songs, dance tunes, and aires into a rich and stunning tapestry, their style is outstanding in an arena where these traditions are seldom intertwined.
Conceived in 1986, IONA was the musical offspring of Barbara Ryan and Bernard Argent. With fiddler Andrew Dodds and bass guitar player Chuck Lawhorn, IONA has become the leading Celtic group in the Mid-Atlantic region. They are all seasoned performers: entertainers who involve their audiences with the history and cultural backgrounds of the music, with teaching words to the songs -- even those sung in a Celtic tongue, with leading simple Breton dances, with humor, and with every emotion in the spectrum.
An IONA show is known for:
1. Traditional Celtic Material The haunting songs, toe tapping dances and the humor of the Celtic peoples from Scotland to Brittany provide IONA with an incredibly varied repertoire
2. Original Acoustic Arrangements All the members of the band play several instruments, often switching within a piece to achieve their unique sound. They weave tunes from different countries around their songs, pursuing complex rhythms with deft professionalism.
3. Lively Entertaining Presentation Above all, IONA's performances are FUN! Barbara and Bernard teach audiences words to their songs (some in Celtic languages!), lead them in clapping and even encourage them to dance!