“Absolutely extraordinary...like twin moons orbiting the same luminous planet...both burn, but it's incredibly steady...like watching a world class boxer...it's impossible to know what's coming next and how fast and how hard...everything about the show...repartee...camaraderie, and obvious trust...it was all so amazing.”

                                 Gil Garratt - Artistic Director, Blyth Festival Theatre (2015)


Anne and Ian have been playing great Canadian music - old and new, for longer than they care to admit. In the late 70s, along with Kate Murphy, they formed the group Muddy York, in order to bring the traditional songs and dance music of Canada to audiences that often didn’t even know that music existed. For eight years the group performed at folk festivals, clubs, museums, historic sites and did a two week stint at Expo ’86 in Vancouver with the legendary Wade Hemsworth. In 1984 Anne and Ian released the lp Scatter The Ashes - Music of Old Ontario to critical acclaim in Canada and abroad.

Muddy York was officially put out to pasture in 1987 but revived in 2011 to explore the old music with new musicians from around the world. In several groundbreaking concerts at the Gladstone Hotel, at Fort York and Mariposa, 2012 Anne and Ian combined the sounds of early Ontario with South Indian violin (Subhadra Vijaykumar), klaimba (Njacko Backo) and Steel Pan (Gareth Burgess). In the intervening years, they have continued to perform both solo and with each other across Canada, in the United States, the British Isles and even Estonia. They have played on radio, movie soundtracks and television programs, including Road To Avonlea.

Both have appeared numerous times on Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio, and each have released several CDs of traditional and original music.

Anne was a founding member of the Flying Bulgar Band, LOKA and Eh?!, and also plays with Njacko Backo and Kalimba Kalimba as well as backing up numerous other artists on fiddle, piano, mandolin, bones, tenor guitar, accordion and feet. She is also known especially for her work with Metis and Aboriginal fiddle traditions in Manitoba.  

Throughout the 1990s Ian performed and recorded with The Dawnbreakers and released three CDs of often-covered original songs, as well as several recordings of traditional and historical material. Ian continues to perform solo, as well as well as being a member of The Friends of Fiddler’s Green and The Allison Lupton Band. Ian sings and plays guitar, concertina, button accordion, 5-string banjo and Scottish smallpipes.

Aside from their sheer musicianship, singing and creativity, Anne and Ian are set apart by their astounding repertoire, their lively and surprising performances, their unique and profound involvement in Canadian traditions and their simple ability to spin it all into a great story. 

Anne and Ian can (and have) done thematic shows on several tried and true Canadian experiences:  The Great Lakes, The Underground Railroad, Come to Canada (Songs of Immigration and Survival), Not a Mark in This World (Songs of Social Comment), The Metis, and others that even we haven’t thought of yet.


Ian Bell ian.bell@sympatico.ca

Anne Lederman anne.lederman@sympatico.ca



Anne Lederman and Ian Bell were once Muddy York, whose work with traditional Ontario music was called “strikingly inventive (Folk Roots), “original and inspired” (Come For to Sing) and “passionately Canadian”

(Greg Quill, Toronto Star). 

For 30 years they have continued their work separately and together, as songwriters, composers and interpreters of Canadian tradition. 

Now, simply Lederman-Bell.