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In 1975, a group of young musicians, led by the visionary poet and musician Noel Dinn (1947-1993), set out to dispel the stereotypical version of Newfoundland music and culture as being backward and inane. Figgy Duff was part of a cultural revolution of the time, when artists collectively rebelled against the Newfie joke, and began to take pride in the vast wealth of cultural material just under the surface of the ditties, jigs, and tall tales.
The band mined a wealth of traditional material, bringing it to the world stage, convincing a generation who followed that there is value in tradition. Band members came and went, branching out to pursue their own fields of interest, and reuniting for a silver anniversary tour in 1999.
Now, in 2012, three of the original band members, Pamela Morgan, Kelly Russell, and Philip Dinn are teaming up once again, combining their collective strengths to present a dynamic show featuring exquisite ballads, folk tales and recitations, and joyous dance tunes. This is the real deal. These artists spent a lifetime learning and polishing traditional material from the masters in a time just before its erosion at the advent of modern media. Each brings a unique area of expertise, and together they bring the magic of a chemistry decades strong.

 

Kelly Russell,
a professional musician since 1975, has been a member of landmark groups Figgy Duff, The Wonderful Grand Band, The Plankerdown Band, Bristol’s Hope, Kelly Russell & The Planks and The Irish Descendants. Working closely for many years with legendary fiddlers Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit, Kelly has inherited genuine status as one of Newfoundland’s leading traditional music performers, appearing extensively on countless national and international stages. Kelly's solo shows include Tunes & Tales of Newfoundland featuring music and the classic Tales of Pigeon Inlet by his father Ted Russell;
and A Time in Pigeon Inlet, with his family group Russells in the Corner. He has recently appeared in Artistic Fraud’s theatre production of Emile’s Dream and also in studio and on stage accompanying Sean McCann of Great Big Sea. In addition to storytelling, Kelly plays fiddle, concertina, and bouzouki.

Pamela Morgan
was lead singer, guitarist, pianist and arranger for Canada’s pioneering “Celtic” band, Newfoundland’s Figgy Duff, for the full 19 year life of the band. Since then, Pamela has been spearheading her own independent record label, Amber Music, producing music for NL’s finest roots artists, including three of her own solo CDs, and licensing tracks to various labels worldwide. She has toured extensively internationally and overseen productions of two original scores for live theatre; her own folk opera, The Nobleman’s Wedding, and Figgy Duff’s score for Shakespeare’s Tempest. In 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from Memorial University, and in 2011 released a handmade book of Newfoundland Ballads for Piano and Voice. Pamela is presently working on two full length recordings. She sings, plays piano, guitar, and whistles.

Philip Dinn
is a stage and screen actor-writer and musician living in Halifax. Philip is the Artistic Director of Jack Five Oh Theatre Productions and has written and co-written some 25 main stage theatre productions and productions for young audiences in the past 25 years. As a founding member of the internationally acclaimed folk band Figgy Duff, Philip has written and arranged the collected folk songs of Newfoundland material for the band and has toured extensively in Canada and the UK. Publications include Stars in the Sky Morning and Peg Bearskin, winning the Silver Medal at the New York Awards for Radio and Television. Philip is a singer, storyteller, and bodhran player.

 

Photography- Sean O'Brien, Bud Gaulton    Video- Sean O'Brien    Audio- Rick Hollett   Design- Pamela Morgan