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Fig Night 24 June 2016

Will Small
Shaza Leigh trio
Toni Swain band
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Will is a writer with an ear for rhythm, a heart for justice and a belief in the human act of storytelling. His unique style of spoken word infuses hip-hop influences, a degree in literature/philosophy, and an enchanting rhythmic delivery.

Will first performed poetry in the Australian National Poetry Slam in 2008. In 2009 he represented the ACT as a State finalist at the Sydney Opera House. In 2012, he was chosen by ABC Radio National listeners as the Wildcard Finalist with his poem 'Op Shop Jacket'. In between Slams, Will has performed his work in front of diverse audiences in High Schools, Youth Justice centres, education forums, libraries, churches, conferences, backyard gigs and arts festivals. Will has a story to tell for every audience, and a diverse repertoire of work.

In 2011, Will won the ANU/Uni Pub Short Story competition with his story, 'The Promise'.

Will is best known for his work with marginalised youth in the English classroom. Starting the Beats, Rhymes & Life program in 2011 and the ANU Voice Slam in 2012, he has helped shift the perceptions of many young people, supporting them to view their story as valuable and their voice as powerful.

In 2013 Will wrote his English Honours research thesis at the Australian National University, titled: 'Slamming Hip-hop in Secondary Schools: Rethinking the Ways we Teach Poetry'.


Lindsay Butler OAM received his Order of Australia Medal for services to the Australian country music industry. He has been elevated to the Roll of Renown and Wall of Honour and is a multiple golden guitar winner. Lindsay is the greatest Australian country guitar player of his generation. His unique sound has inspired countless young pickers to play guitar and he has personally released nearly 30 solo instrumental albums.

Shaza Leigh (Butler) is also a prominent figure in country music. Renowned as Australia’s First Lady of Song, Shaza possesses one of the best voices in the country. She has been inducted onto The Women’s Wall of Fame, Hands of Fame, Wall of Honour and has amassed a string of vocal and song-writing awards including eleven consecutive titles as ‘QLD Female Vocalist of the Year’. Shaza has received ‘National Female Artist of the Year on Radio’ four times and has numerous Golden Guitar nominations having released 13 highly acclaimed studio albums throughout her career.

The Queen of the Country Piano, Peggy Gilchrist, has toured with Shaza & Lindsay for over five years now and the excitement, enthusiasm and fun that she brings to the stage is unsurpassed. She has won ‘QLD Musician of the year’ in five consecutive years plus ‘Qld New Talent of the Year’ for her debut release. This year she was awarded ‘National Female Artist of the Year on Radio’. Peggy’s second album, Take Two, has been widely received by our audiences across this land.



Peggy Gilchrist

"Few performers in Australia can match Toni Swain...her musicianship and stage presence is awesome enough; then there’s her voice which reaches right in and grabs you by the heart and soul. Her sets are built around solid rhythms that rollick and sway while the songs provide a distinctive spotlight on everyday life. She is that good, she makes it look easy.” Bones Mackinnon 3SERfm

With her new album "Deepest Water" rocketing to #2 on the Australian Blues and Roots Charts in February, and massive radioplay nationwide, Toni Swain is now touring the country and brings her band to the Manly Fig.

Blending jazz, blues, soul and r & b in her original compositions and played by stellar musicians; Roy Payne guitar (Don Walker band), George Bibicos keys and Doug Bligh drums (both of Hucker Brown), Mike Rix on the double bass, the result is a beautiful fusion with Toni's soulful powerhouse voice driving it all home.

Renowned for her moving live performances delivered with style, sophistication and panache, Toni Swain is a must see at the Manly Fig.

"Toni Swain finds that spot in my musical love life marked Bonnie Raitt and Shelby Lynne" Bernard Zuel, Sydney Morning Herald