Youngtree and Carole Bee is a brand new spinoff from Newfoundland’s rising stars Youngtree & The Blooms. On the heels of winning multiple awards for their album Musical Chairs, Youngtree & The Blooms geared up for their most ambitious tour to date when the music world ground to a halt. So, instead of playing a major folk festival with one of their heroes (John Prine, R.I.P), the frontman and violinist of Youngtree & The Blooms began arranging their catalogue for a new duo.
Youngtree’s sound has drawn comparisons to Gram Parsons and Nashville Skyline-era Bob Dylan by outlets such as Exclaim! Magazine. His songwriting craft and musical style recently earned him the honour of being awarded the MusicNL “Ron Hynes Songwriter of the Year” award in 2020.
Carole is a versatile violinist, equally at home in folk and classical genres. A sought after freelance musician, her strength is in adding sparkle and energy to every project she takes part in. She brings a creative and collaborative approach as a freestyle fiddler and singer, informed by her vast musical influences.
With a variety of musical influences ranging from Bach to Patsy Cline (and beyond!), Youngtree & Carole Bee will move your spirits with soulful songs, and make your feet dance with delightful and upbeat melodies.
WITH VIOLET IS AN EAST COAST ALT/POP BAND FROM ST.JOHN’S NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA. REFORMED IN (2021)
East Coast alt-pop band, WITH VIOLET, is an eclectic musical experience. Based out of St.John’s Newfoundland, this proudly Canadian group has wowed audiences since their formation in 2018. In the years since, WITH VIOLET, has become a popular growing name around Newfoundland. Receiving 3 MusicNL nominations, performances at festivals [IceBerg Alley, Campilfy, and Best Kind Barbecue], and playtime on multiple radio stations.
Together, Sarah Newell [Vocals & Saxophone], Pete [Vocals & Keyboards], Matthew Cadigan [Guitar], Spencer FitzGerald [Bass], and Hunter Madden [Drums] create a radio pop sound you can lose yourself in musically. Their catchy hooks, cohesive musicality, nuanced songwriting, and sheer energy has been a driving factor of the groups success, helping them to receive nominations for CBC’s Searchlight in 2022.
In 2021 the band released their debut album, Long Story Short, a high energy pop/rock record, funded partly by the generosity of MusicNL. The album has seen great success, with over 3000 streams on spotify, two MusicNL nominations, and can be heard at the ECHL games in the Mary Browns Centre. Their Holiday Special, featuring two brand new Christmas singles, is a new winter tradition for many. Being played for the holidays on radio stations across Newfoundland
(Photo by Evan Foote)
XIA-3 is an emerging instrumental fusion band based in Newfoundland that blends traditional Chinese influences with Western post-rock grooves. The group was formed in 2022 and is fronted by guzheng virtuoso Dr. Jing Xia with support from well-established St. John’s punk rockers Ritche Perez on bass and Brian Downton on drums. As a professional artist and scholar, Xia started to study the guzheng at six years old and has degrees in Music Performance (B.A.), Arts Management (M.A.), and Ethnomusicology (Ph.D.). She is the winner of the 2022 MusicNL Award “Rising Star of the Year,” and was just nominated for two 2023 ECMA awards: Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year, and Global Recording of the Year.
Zay Nova is a new Canadian country singer-songwriter and radio producer. He was born in a small village called Sempan on Bangka Island, Indonesia. As with many kids, one of his teachers asked, “When you grew up, what do you want to be?” He answered the question by saying, “I want to be a songwriter!” As a 7-year-old he knew nothing about songwriting. Zay Nova was just a poor country boy who didn’t know music except for the lullaby his mother sang before he went to bed. He never saw musical instruments and did not know music at all because there was neither radio and nor TV at home where he grew up.
Electricity didn’t come to his village until 1990. However, Zay Nova left his hometown at the tender age of 17 and went to Madura Island in Java to study at an Islamic Boarding School. He was introduced to country music while Shania Twain was very popular in country music around the world. He started to learn and memorize some lyrics from the cover of her album and taught himself more English by listening to western country music.
After finishing school in 2002, Zay moved again to the Special Region of Yogyakarta close to central Java to study Arabic Literature. Shortly thereafter, he moved to the Communication and Broadcast faculty at the State Islamic University, Sunan Kalijaga, in Yogyakarta. In that city, Zay discovered western country music which was broadcast by a local Christian radio station. He fell in love right away with the music and started to teach himself to be a radio announcer and scriptwriter. When he felt confident enough, he applied for a job at the same radio station that played western country music. He was successful in his job application. From the very first day he was hired, he improved his English by bringing a dictionary to the station and practicing how to pronounce each word from many country songs on the daily radio playlist. In 2005, while attending university, he kept working at the radio station as a means to pay his university tuition. At the same time, he started a band and wrote many songs.
After the band broke up in 2010, he played solo at some local events and then moved to Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, in 2014. Zay started a new career in TV and as a radio producer, audio commercial production, and video producer. He also worked as a host for a Jakarta TV program. He decided to move to Canada in 2017 to start a new life and adventure. He chose St. John’s, Newfoundland, as his home. To this day, St. John’s is where his heart is.
Soundbone Folksong Choir (SFC) is a non-auditioned choral group for adults who share a love of the traditional and contemporary folk songs of Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond. Established in the winter of 2020, the choir was forced to shut down after only three rehearsals due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. During the 2021-2022 season, the choir had two successful 10-week sessions due to a combination of online and in-person rehearsals, and went fully in-person for 2022-2023.
The SFC was founded and is directed by traditional musician/music educator Jean Hewson with the help of Assistant Director Madison Mouland. It is a project of Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation; an organization that fosters the preservation and performance of the traditional folk arts of Newfoundland and Labrador. (soundbone.ca)
Over the last two years of its existence, the SFC has had the opportunity to work with guest musicians Christina Smith, Brian Cherwick and Dave Panting, and has also enjoyed workshops given by Linda Byrne, Dave Penny, Sally Goddard, Paul Wilson, and Shay Black: expert traditional singers from Newfoundland, England, and Ireland respectively.
School of Rock St John’s House Band is a high energy professional group of talented and rising youth NL Rockstar’s. These St John’s area youth artists are as passionate and crazy about Rock’n’roll as they are fun and entertaining to watch. With an extensive multi-decade Rock’n’roll repertoire these young local musicians will get you moving, smiling, clapping, and singing to some great classics! With more than four hours of formal supervised practice each week and 1000+ licensed songs; these young Rockstars are perfectly equipped to help fill your venue and make your next festival or event, a huge success that people will talk about for months! Perfect for family entertainment at bars/pubs/hotels/stadiums or outdoor events with a stage, a grill or restaurant. Give us 110-volt power and we will rock your guests!
SeanT Le Savant (or just SeanT for short) is an independent singer, songwriter, performer and producer currently based in Newfoundland, Canada. Originally born and raised in the Caribbean island of Antigua and Barbuda, he is a self-taught musician who proudly takes his culture with him everywhere he goes and infuses these elements into his music whenever he can. Though he draws inspiration from a wide range of musical genres, his main genres of focus include R&B, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Soul, Blues, and Soca. He released his first single, a soothing love ballad entitled “Captivated”, in 2022 and has since had his sights set on growing and connecting with a larger audience in the Newfoundland community and on a global scale.
A contemporary roots duo featuring sibling songwriters Leela Gilday and Jay Gilday.
Sechile Sedare (pronounced ‘seh-chee-leh’ ‘seh-dahr-eh’) means ‘my younger brother, my older sister’ in the Dene language. This musical collaboration sees Jay and Leela co-write and co-create new repertoire together, harnessing their talents as deeply insightful and genuine storytellers.
Their voices blend in perfect harmony, hitting notes of nostalgia, hope, humour and reflection. The songs, created during lockdown in 2021 and during a residency at the Banff Centre, share stories about their family history, their connection to the land and water, and the twists and turns of fate.
Sechile Sedare will be touring communities across Canada this spring and summer and plan to release a debut album in 2023.
JAY GILDAY BIO
A vagabond turned mailman, Jay Gilday has searched for himself in the depths of Folk, blues, traditional, rock and most recently soul music. The quest continues as Jay takes his experiences as a half Dene, half Canadian-Irish youth traveling the roads of Canada, the daily roller-coaster of work, family, and performance and weaves them into song. Jay’s live performance is executed with a trained voice and a passion to drive it backed up by a heavy hitting guitar, finger-style or flat-picked, your choice!
LEELA GILDAY BIO
Born and raised in the Northwest Territories, she writes about the people and the land that created her. The power in her voice conveys the depth of her feelings of love and life in a rugged environment and vibrant culture, as if it comes straight from that earth. Leela’s family is from Délįne on the shore of Great Bear Lake and her rich vocals dance across the rhythmic beats of traditional Dene drumming as smoothly as a bass line onstage the largest venues in the country. And she has played them all.
From the rocky shores of Newfoundland, Canada The Navigator’s formed in 2000 based on a unique combination of baritone voices and instrumentalists into a folk band that is as much known for its own original contemporary trad as it is for the traditional music. With four full studio albums, Bay Bulls Cove (2023); Soldiers and Sailors (2011); Sea Miner (2009), Dance and Sing (2001), and a number of other recording contributions, the group has toured all of Canada, much of the US and Europe.
As Music NL’s Award for Folk/Roots Group of the Year (2002), the band has created a name and following across the province that just gets stronger every year. As part of the successful “Celtic Christmas” Yhe Navigators has enjoyed 13 years of touring NL and even put together a popular CD of the same name along with The Irish Descendant’s (2010).
The band’s first CD Dance and Sing was the longest running #1 selling CD at Fred’s Record’s in St. John’s, holding the spot for almost a full decade and is still the #4 best selling CD of all time! In 2021, The Navigator’s were invited to record a song from the Broadway musical Come From Away by its producers. Their version of Welcome to the Rock became an instant favourite and was released early as a part of Apple TVs movie version of the musical.