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N.L musician in ‘Come From Away’ stepping up with new album

Romano Di Nillo is a Newfoundlander who plays in the band for "Come From Away."
Romano Di Nillo is a Newfoundlander who plays in the band for "Come From Away."

Romano Di Nillo is one of two Newfoundlanders in the hit Broadway musical "Come From Away."  "I feel like I have a responsibility, as one of two Newfoundlanders in the show, to represent the music," said Di Nillo.

Di Nillo was born in Grand Falls-Windsor and raised in St. John's, by an immensely musical family.

The band in the hit Broadway musical "Come From Away."

After seven years touring with the musical "Wicked" he was thrilled to get the opportunity to play with the band in "Come From Away."

Di Nillo told The Telegram that the directors, writers and producers of the show, nailed every aspect of traditional Newfoundland culture.

"They were really smart to recognize that music is integral to the fabric of our culture," said Di Nillo. "It was such a good move to elevate the music from the pit ... literally, onto the stage, and have it included."

"Technically, the band is on stage more than the actors," laughed Di Nillo.

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Di Nillo can be seen playing the bodhran and the ugly stick on stage.

When it comes to the music in the show, Di Nillo says the audience’s reactions at the end of the night, says it all.

"There are people at the shows who have never heard of Newfoundland before, and have so many questions about the music," said Di Nillo. "One man even asked if the band was available to play his son's bar mitzvah."

"It's really an honour to be sharing Newfoundland culture and music with those who have never experienced it before," said Di Nillo.

With all of the positive feedback, Di Nillo decided that it would be a great opportunity to work with local musicians and friends, on his first solo album.

"It's going to be an album full of simple Newfoundland traditional music," said Di Nillo.

Di Nillo and friends will start recording the album at the beginning of October, with hopes of having it ready before Christmas.

Duane Andrews is producing the album. Other artists featured on the album are Aaron Collis, Matt Grover and Angela Pickett.

"I'm struggling with a name for the album," said Di Nillo. "Since it's my first solo work, I'm used to being buried in a sea of names."

"Hopefully the people of New York will enjoy their first taste of pure Newfoundland traditional music."

beth.penney@thetelegram.com

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