The Duffy String Band


On January 31st, The Duffy String Band took First Place out of all the string bands in the Philadelphia Viewer's Choice Awards, kindly hosted by Philly 17 and The Sugarhouse Casino. Thank you so much to all the viewers/ parade-goers and fans who voted for us!!


For those who care, here is the marching order for string bands, 2019...

Hey, a big shout out to Star News Philly for this wonderful profile about Duffy String Band. We like to think about ourselves as a family string band where EVERYONE is welcome, especially if they love making live music!!

Star News Philly Article

 Huge thanks to the 2018 Fancy Brigade Champion Golden Crown NYB for stopping by our club tonight and making Jake an honorary member!



MANY, MANY thanks to  Steve Highsmith and his truly beautiful post about our beloved Teddy in his mummer's blog...


We love our South philly string band cousins! Unlike many of the south philly string  bands, we are co-ed. We are a teaching string band. We welcome you if you are an advanced, intermediate, beginner or never-touched-an-instrument-before player. Sometimes our club house on Wednesday nights is filled with members who DON'T play an instrument and DON'T want to, but their spouse or friend or s.o. or dad, mom, son or daughter do, and the want to be around the joy that is mummers nevertheless.

Because everyone knows it takes more than musicians to help a string band up Broad Street. It takes fundraisers, partners, set builders, painters, and the ever-valuable MARSHALS. So please come and check us out on Wednesday nights from 6:30PM to 9PM. Consider yourself part of the Fishtown Country Club. No entry fee. No secret handshake. No race, class, gender, age,  political or sexual affiliation,  and etc, etc.,  EVER 


unwelcome. Head NORTH to a better string band family! The Duffy String Band of Fishtown. 



The Duffy String Band was formerly the Fireman String Band until the band was purchased by George Duffy on March 5, 1945. He changed the name, and though the band was sold, Duffy’s name has remained. “We’re all like a big family,” Amato said. “We’re very welcoming to anyone that comes in our doors.”

  According to Amato, the Duffy String Band is focused on inclusivity as a means to keep the Mummers’ tradition alive. The band has multicultural members, women and LGBT individuals in their brigade. Two of their women members, Cheryl Crowe and Peg Rullo, have even been voted into the Mummer Hall of Fame by their peers. Mummer bands like Duffy are breaking the mold of a historically male-driven culture.

  “I can’t speak for the the other divisions, but the string bands in general take this hobby very seriously. We put a lot of work and time into it, and we aren’t willing to do something that would mess all that up,” Amato said. “We don’t want to offend anybody. We have gay people, we have people of different races, we’re very welcoming. It doesn’t matter to us what you are or what you do.”

  Amato believes their club is somewhat under the radar since most people associate the Mummers with South Philly. “We kind of feel like a lot of people don’t know we’re here,” Amato said. “There’s a lot of talented musicians in the area. There’s a lot of young people that moved into the area. We are trying to get the word out… Come on in. Stop by, see if you like us.”

  According to Amato, you can simply walk up to their clubhouse at 2230 Cedar Street and see how they operate. On March 1st, the Duffy String Band will have an open house and hopes to get people to be a part of their Mummers tradition.

  “It’s that initial step that people have to get over. We’re not going to make you feel out of place,” Amato said. “We want more people in our club, and I think that most people will find that once they step their foot in the door, they’re going to like being there, and they’re going to like being a part of the group. Come and check us out. We’re a very friendly group.”

  Amato hopes to change the notion that mumming is a white man’s hobby. “For the most part Mummers are not racist or sexist. It’s unfortunate that something like that happens. It’s a shame that all of us get a bad rap because of what one person did,” Amato said. “I’m hoping we get people coming into our club that maybe back in the 1950s wouldn’t be allowed.” 

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Duffy #1 as voted by Philly viewers!


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