By Ben Olson
It’s easy to take for granted how special it is to grow up in a musical family. For Sadie Sicilia — formerly Sadie Wagoner— the experience has helped shape the new direction she has taken as a performer.
Sicilia will be returning to the Panida Theater’s main stage for another special concert on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.
“There will be two different acts,” Sicilia said. “Plus something special.”
The first performance will be by Queen Suite, a duo featuring Sicilia and piano player Desiree, who goes by a single name only.
“Desiree is a classically-trained piano player who has been playing since she was four years old,” Sicilia said. “We play a wide variety of genres including jazz, ‘40s standards and more modern time music, but we put a classical twist on them, because that’s how she’s trained on the piano.”
Sicilia said Queen Suite will also play a few originals, with a “jazzy, soulful vibe” to them.
“It’s very different from what I’ve done in the past,” she said.
For the second act, Sicilia’s full band, Sadie Sicilia and the Reckoning, will fill the main stage.
“This time around, we’re doing more of my originals than we did at my last concert,” Sicilia said.
The band plays a hybrid of funk and rock and roll, featuring Terry Martin on drums, Reese Warren on guitar, Chris Lynch on keyboard and Jenai (who also goes by one name) on bass.
Jenai also happens to be Sicilia’s mom.
Sicilia gained attention in Sandpoint playing with her dad, Mike Wagoner, but she’s grown up with music in her family since she can remember.
“My mom has always been there to save the day, because our bass player bailed out,” Sicilia said. “It’s amazing — when I was younger I took for granted (playing with my parents). I didn’t really know how special it was. Just now, in my life, I’m just realizing how cool that is.”
Sicilia began playing at a young age, mostly with her dad because her mom lived in Tennessee.
“But now my mom moved to Spokane, so I’m getting to play music with her again,” Sicilia said.
While it’s been nice to experience playing with her parents, Sicilia has fully embraced spreading her wings to make her own mark on the music scene.
“I’ve definitely achieved getting out on my own,” she said. “Meeting Desiree has been an incredible thing. We have our own PA and do our own gigs. I remember the first gig where my dad wasn’t there to help with the sound and I was terrified. … I’ve become more confident setting up sound and also being the entertaining one to talk to the audience. That was always my dad’s role. I’ve learned from the best there.”
The departure from playing primarily covers is another realm Sicilia is working on
“Over the years we’ve played a lot of covers, and people love it, and that’s great, but I want to be an artist and write my own songs and have my own ideas,” Sicilia said. “I’ve always seen choreography as part of my performance, and this show will have some dancing.”
As another special treat, Sicilia invited the Sandpoint High School Choir to join her onstage for a song or two.
“With my music, I’m always trying to advocate mental health awareness,” she said. “There are a couple of kids at SHS that I’ve wanted to get involved, because when I (dealt) with my mental health issues, I was able to talk to my dad, who also experienced it when he was young. It made me realize that I wasn’t alone in it. These kids might not have a parental figure to talk to. I really wanted to use this concert as an opportunity to reach out to them and raise awareness in the community.”
The SHS Choir will join Sicilia on a song she wrote, performing it acapella with just vocals and harmonies. They will also join the full band on another selection.
Sadie Sicilia in Concert will be Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Panida Theater. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, and can be purchased ahead of time at Panida.org, or in town at Eichardt’s Pub and Evans Brothers Coffee. Any leftover tickets will be available for purchase at the Panida box office the night of the show.
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