CHRIS DUFFY (1981)
1948 – Born on December 25th
1964 – Migrated with his
Chris was one of the first
banjo players in
along with people like Trevor Warner and the late Peter Hayes.
He spent about half his working life as a full-time musician,
and put in a few thousand hours on the road, and in studio work.
After launching his early career as a backing musician for
best known country musicians, he toured in his own right on the
Arts Council, folk festival and club circuits.
first National Banjo Champion. He also had several years
performing in professional musical theatre as a pit musician and
stage performer, most notably in the two-year run in
of the musical hit “Big
as banjoist and guitarist. He has played on many movie sound
tracks and written for TV shows. He had five albums released on
the Larrikin label under his own name.
1981 – Inducted into the Hands of
In the 1980′s and 90′s he
shook up the acoustic music fraternity by bringing artists to
and touring them. These artists include Dan Crary, Byron
Berline, Vince Gill, Bill Keith and Mark O’ Connor, as well as
Blues supremos John Hammond and Charlie Musselwhite.
He was forced to relinquish the
music career in the mid 1990′s after a serious motorcycle smash.
His recovery included intensive study of the Jazz guitar – swing
and hard bop. He was developing a new spin on his banjo skills
to incorporate modern jazz concepts.
He released a new CD in September
2011, which was a reflection on a long and successful career, as
well as coming up with a new take on a few old warhorses. Chris
developed a one man show that reflected all these interests and
incorporates a musical tribute to some of the banjo
vaudevillians of the 1930′s and 1950′s. Chris says he owes
everything to the fine musicians who have spent time with him
and shared their knowledge. In return, he taught and conducted
workshops, and acted as mentor to younger players on the up and
Chris played a Crafters of
Tennessee Maple Classic 5 banjo. His archtop guitars are a
Benedetto Bravo de Luxe and a 1964 Guild X500 through Jazzkat
and Tomkat amps. He also played a 2002 model Martin HD28 Vintage
series with forward shifted braces.
2012 – Chris passed away on 25th