As a blind bassist, her mission is to inspire through music, break barriers, and show the world that disabilities are not limitations.
To be a world-renowned bassist recognized for her exceptional musicianship and ability to inspire others to overcome challenges and pursue their dreams.
Her list of achievements includes winning the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards for one of the tunes on her upcoming debut album, securing a spot in the Jazz Ahead Residency Program and Woodshed Network Residency, earning the “Matt Marvuglio Student of the Year” award in 2021, becoming a finalist in the Lee Ritenour Six String Theory Competition, receiving the Tara Life Goes On Award, receiving the “Johann Ratzenböck”-scholarship and participating in multiple jazz workshops and projects, including Zeillern Jazz Academy, Jazz and Big Band Workshop in Bad Goisern, Weng Schui Project, and European Jazz and Pop Orchestra.
Later / current success:
Since her studies at Berklee, Ciara has been excellerating as a composer, producer, live and studio performer and educator internationally and in the Boston and New York area.
- Performances at the Panama Jazz Festival 2021, 2022 and 2023 with “The Global Jazz Womxn”, an ensemble led by saxophonist and music therapist Patricia Perez.
- Performances in 2022 with her mentor Danilo Perez at the “Paradiso Jazz Festival” in Bollogna, Italy, at the “Hay Festival” in the UK, at the “Jazz for peace festival” in Santiago, Chile and at the “cultural summit”, Abu Dhabi.
- London Tour in Fall 2022 with the “Roella Oloro Trio”, including performances at “the royal albert hall” and “Ronny Scott’s” jazz club.
- Numerous performances in the New York / Boston Area with musicians from all fields of music, such as Craig Jackson, Freddie Bryant, Kevin Harris, Erin Vadala, The Tiger Wizard Band, Albino Mbi, Lumanyano Mzi, Amaury Cabral and many more.
Her work as an educator:
Ciara taught at the Victor Wooten Berklee Bass Workshop in 2021 and 2022. She also did master classes at the Panama Jazz Festival 2021, 2022 and 2023 and at the “Chile Jazz for peace festival” 2022. In addition to that Ciara taught workshops about music and blindness for the Berklee ear training department, voice department and bass department in which she lectured the students on important techniques she uses as a blind musician. For example memorizing pieces of music or how to find the way around your instrument without looking at it.
Since March 2019, Ciara has her own podcast called “Blind. So What?” in which she talks about daily life as a blind person or a person with a disability in general. She covers different topics out of the life of a blind person, such as shopping, cooking, styling, or sports.
Debut Album – „Blind. So What?“
A Journey of Triumph and Resilience.
Ciara Moser produced, recorded and is looking to tour with her 12-track Modern Jazz Fusion debut album “Blind, So What?” which is centered around her journey as a blind musician to raise awareness for the blind community and make her artistic contribution to the music world. The album will be released by the end of summer 2023.
The songs in the album include topics such as the art of memorizing, spatial sense for orientation, trusting others, and the different perceptions that blind people have on the world.
Album Goals / Vision
As a professional bassist and someone who has been blind since birth, this part of her identity has shaped her incredibly unique journey through life and music in a profound way.
During her time pursuing her Master’s Degree at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, she was deeply inspired by the theme of using music as a vehicle for social change and enhanced her skills for playing & composing with intention and zeal. This shaped her goals for sharing her message through music in the form of a debut studio album centered around her journey on blindness.
The first goal being to showcase her abilities as a performer, composer, arranger, and producer. The next is to raise awareness by tackling the stereotyping and misconceptions that the blind community is subjected to while inspiring musicians to view music through the lens of someone like her.
Ultimately, through showcasing her musicianship and addressing how blindness affects her life, the final goal of inspiring others with disabilities will be achieved. She seeks to spark the fire of a brighter future for fellow musicians, blind people and people with disabilities.
Bio (from the beginning)
Born in Dublin – Ireland
Ciara Moser was born in 1996 in Dublin, Ireland to an Irish Mother and an Austrian Father. As Ciara was blind from Birth, her parents saw the necessity and importance of introducing her to musical instruments at a very early age thus, at the tender age of two and a half years, she started learning the violin/fiddle through the world-famous Suzuki method with a friend of the family Bernadette Robinson.
Moving to Austria with the age of four
After moving to Austria at the age of four, she continued violin lessons with Susanna Aigner Haslinger and won several youth competitions. During this time, she was a member of diverse small and larger orchestras taking part in many different youth productions.
From age seven onwards, she added lessons in classical piano with Klaus Oberleitner as well as drums and percussion with the well-known Austrian drummer Stephan Hofer.
At the age of fourteen, Ciara formed her first band called “Blind Bratz”. She was then introduced to the bass guitar by Stephan Mastnak, a renowned Austrian bassist und multitalented musician. That’s where it all started and from that point onwards although she continued to pursue all her other instruments, taking lessons, etc. her real love established itself to be the bass guitar.
Vienna University of Music and Art “IPOP”
2014 she enrolled at the IPOP Department (Institute of Popular Music) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna majoring in teaching (bass guitar) – tutors Willi Langer and Gina Schwarz. May 2018, Ciara passed her Bachelor’s exams with first-class honours and in fall 2023, she will receive a master’s degree from the same university with delays due to covid-19.
Early Band, Workshop Experience
For Ciara, the importance of diverse and varied input and influences encouraged her to take part in many different workshops and music weeks. A few examples which played a fixed part of her life over several years were Austria’s best-known Jazz and Big Band Workshops or Academy’s: Zeillern, Bad Goisern, EJPO (European Jazz and Pop Orchester).
Ciara also took part in the Viennese youth musical production “Estelle”- the life of a superstar written and composed by the multitalented blind musician Florian Angerer.
In August 2014, she organized her first very own music festival in her hometown Aschach with several live bands – with all of whom she played the bass guitar which turned into a 7-hour music marathon!
Ciara enjoys composing and has written works in the different music genres in which she is active.
Ciara was approached to join the Salsa Band “Manteka” which is well-known in Vienna. At the same time, she set up a fusion band, “Defusion” with fellow music students and the “KiWi Company” a cover band which also specializes in world or diverse international music. A further very important development in her musical career was the invitation to play with Elias Meiri a renowned Pianist and multifaceted musician originally from Israel. Being part of other Projects, she continues to master further music genres such as jazz, funk, fusion, rock and pop on stage.
She also is one of the main protagonists of the cinema film documentation “FLOW” the principle of creativity which is showing in cinemas around Austria. The film shows the lives of creative women in the arts.
Berklee College of Music:
After finishing her bachelor’s in Vienna in 2018, Ciara continued her journey at Berklee College of Music. She attended the five-week aspire “women’s performance program”, led by Terri Lyne Carrington in the summer of 2019. In the fall of 2019, she studied in the undergrad program at Berklee for one semester, where besides many other classes, she took the “assistive music technology” elective with assistant professor Chi Go Kim, who teaches blind students at Berklee how to use notation and recording software such as logic pro, pro tools and Sibelius. Berklee College of Music is the only place in the world that offers such a course.
In the fall of 2020, Ciara entered the master’s program at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. The program offers a one-year master’s degree and accepts 20 students per year from all around the globe, giving each of them a full scholarship. Throughout the program, she was mentored by jazz greats such as Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebmann, Tia Fuller, Linda Ho, Ben Street and many more.
The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with pianist and composer Danilo Pérez as its founder and artistic director.
The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment where students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible, advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment.
Ciara graduated with her master’s in “music and contemporary performance” in December 2021 and was awarded the “Matt Marvuglio Student of the Year” award in 2021 due to her achievements throughout her studies at Berklee.
I’m sure it wasn’t obstacle-free, but would you say the journey has been fairly smooth so far?