The authentic and refreshingly earnest bluegrass band Steel Betty will prove that Austin, Texas, is still the heart and soul of American music during their visit to Reno. Steel Betty’s featured performance at the University of Nevada, Reno will be held Thursday, March 12, in Nightingale Concert Hall, as part of the 59th season of the School of the Arts’ Performing Arts Series.
Steel Betty’s show honors the original musical pioneers of bluegrass, folk, country and conjunto music. Harkening back to earlier days, band members lean in the share vocals on a prominent Edwina stand microphone while playing upright bass, guitar, mandolin and banjo. Their achingly gorgeous Spanish cover of Natalia Lafourcade’s “Soledad Y Mar” and shared harmonies in the Appalachian folk tune “Red Rocking Chair” highlight their distinctly American sound.
“Austin is a place of musical eclecticism,” Steel Betty guitarist and vocalist David McD said. “Everyone has more freedom to play whatever they want rather than feeling like they need to be pinned into the confines of a specific genre. We are great example of that, as we can play a Spanish jazz tune and then turn around and play an Appalachian old-time song followed by a classic soul tune,” he said. Those attending the performance can expect to hear “yodeling and bird calls, killer bluegrass harmonies and poignant moments of full hearted, nostalgically leaning emotion.”
Steel Betty’s Performing Arts Series appearance is Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. where they will perform for more than 500 audience members in Nightingale Concert Hall.
During their visit to northern Nevada, the School of the Arts is also coordinating two free and family-friendly workshops featuring Steel Betty.
The School of the Arts and Washoe County Library System in collaboration with Girls Rock Reno will host a songwriting workshop for aspiring musicians from 6-7 p.m., Wednesday, March 11, at the North Valleys Library. This workshop, Anatomy of a Song, will explore the structures behind writing a great song. Anatomy of a Song is appropriate for children ages 9-15 and their family members.
On Thursday, March 12, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Steel Betty will host, “Story Time 2.0 – BLUE GRASS EDITION!” at the Sparks Library. The band will take guests on a live and interactive animal-centric journey, punctuated with bluegrass and quirky folk music.
Steel Betty’s public performance and associated events mark the conclusion of the School of the Arts’ 2019-20 Performing Arts Series season, which included five performances by distinguished contemporary artists.
To purchase tickets for the Performing Arts Series, call Lawlor Events Center Ticket Office at 775-784-4444, visit the Performing Arts Series website (convenience fees apply for online and phone purchases), or purchase in person at either Lawlor Events Center Ticket Office (open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1550 N. Virginia St., Reno, lower level) or at the Church Fine Arts Box Office beginning one hour before performances. Orders received less than 10 business days before the date of the performance will be held at the Church Fine Arts Box Office for pick up.
In addition to the Performing Arts Series, the School of the Arts also presents the Reno Jazz Festival and Lake Tahoe Music Camp as well as world-class visual art exhibitions, musical performances, theatre productions, dance concerts and public arts events presented by the departments of Art, Music, and Theatre and Dance. The School’s degree programs provide a strong foundation in a range of artistic disciplines, enabling students to contribute as artists, educators and scholars at the local level and beyond. Finally, the School, as well as the College of Liberal Arts, encourage broad campus and community participation in the arts through its numerous performances, lectures, exhibitions, core courses and outreach activities that explore diverse cultures and encourage lifelong learning.
The 2019-20 Performing Arts Series is funded in part by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the City of Reno; WESTAF (the Western States Arts Federation); the Western Arts Alliance Advancing Indigenous Performance Touring Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; IGT; the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, and the Graduate Student Association. In-kind support is provided by Circus Circus Hotel Casino, THE ROW – Reno, The Jesse Hotel & Bar, and CLM Design, Advertising, Interactive.
For more information, go to the School of the Arts website, call 775-784-4278, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Event information, news and photos also are available by following the School of the Arts’ Instagram and Twitter handles: @NVArts365 and Facebook pages.