The STEP Fiddlers are a group of fine young fiddle players, ranging in age from six to sixteen, drawn mostly from the students of the Suzuki Talent Education Program (STEP) in St. John’s. Christina Smith founded the group in 1982 to give give young Newfoundlanders an opportunity to learn their own traditional music. Currently directed by Carole Bestvater, the STEP Fiddlers continue this rich tradition, while incorporating tunes from across Canada and around the world. The STEP Fiddlers have been featured performers at the Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Festival, the Canadian Folk Music Awards Gala, and the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, and have brought Newfoundland music to Ontario, England, and Northern Ireland. Over the years the group has released two CDs: “Galing for a Storm” and “Fiddling in the Fog.”
Trinity Sound is a youth music group formed under the direction of Jason March at Reid Music. The
group focuses on arranging songs anywhere from traditional folk tunes to the latest top 40 hits with the
use of traditional instruments such as violin, mandolin, bodhran, and guitar. With the addition of new
members the group has a fresh approach to arranging material and adding their own original
Trinity Sound group members are:
Mackenzie Elliot-Vocals, guitar, bodhran, mandolin
Sam Penny – Mandolin, violin
Luke Chiasson – Mandolin, violin
Parker Dunne – Guitar
Logan Crawley – Bass
Hailing from Whiteway, Trinity Bay, Shana Brown picked up the button accordion at age 7 and it has been her main instrument ever since. Equally comfortable playing gigs with her brother Dillon or laying down award winning performances shredding Bach compositions, Shana is constantly exploring new styles and pushing the boundaries of the instrument.
The Fiddlers Greene are Marlo and Sadie Greene- two sisters from St. John’s who have been playing fiddle for 9 years. They love to play and perform many different styles of traditional music, particularly Newfoundland traditional and Bluegrass. This will be their third performance at the NL Folk Festival, but you can hear them throughout the year at all ages trad sessions around St.John’s or at the Bluegrass Brunch at the Ship. They also perform at the annual Young Folk at the Hall. The Fiddlers Greene are very excited to be back playing at their favourite event of the summer!
Zealya, is 16 years old and has been a performer from the moment she could talk. Taking every opportunity to perform at parties, school functions, festivals and youth performances including open mic’s, she has developed into a performer that commands the attention of the people watching her perform.
A songwriter whose writing style touches the real life events that people can connect with. She is equally comfortable at the keyboard or on the guitar and is an excellent harmonizer. Her repertoire shows an appreciation for genres far beyond her young age and includes songs ranging from Janis Joplin to Nathaniel Rateliff.
She attends school in CBS Newfoundland and spends all her spare time in the music department. Having performed with a couple of bands already, the stage is her home and she looks forward to continuing to develop her skills and bring her music to forefront.
Salt Beef Junkies are comprised of three young musicians keeping traditional Newfoundland music alive, the Salt Beef Junkies are a popular hit with tourists and locals alike. Consisting of Luke Mercer on accordion, guitar, harmonica and vocals, Ty Simms on guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals, and Alex Mercer on bodhran, the boys tend to draw a crowd with their toe tapping tunes. Performing as a group since 2019, they have played numerous venues, festivals and events including the Lieutenant Governor’s Garden Party, Klondike Days, Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, Brigus Blueberry Festival and Carbonear Days Festival. They have played with well-known local artists including the Masterless Men and were featured in an episode of HGTV’s “Rock Solid Builds”. All three boys have been mentored by well-known Newfoundland musicians and it shows in their lively upbeat shows.
Ty Simms has always had a love for music and enjoys and plays all types and while his main instrument of focus is the acoustic guitar, he also plays banjo and mandolin. He is also very much involved in The Music Studios of Etcetera Productions and Mount Pearl Senior High Chamber Choir.
Juliette has been playing the accordion since the age of 8 and has performed at the Folk Festival on the Neil Murray Stage and as part of the opening ceremonies, leading eh Ode in both French and English. A regular at Young Folk at the Hall, the French Community Centre and as an opening artist for the City of St. John’s Harborside Park, her repertoire is mostly Irish influenced folk music.
Olive has been playing the violin for almost eleven years and she is committed to her instrument and to sharing the gift of music with everyone she meets.
While Olive has primarily been playing classical music, and is part of three orchestras, she has a deep appreciation for all genres of music, as they have shaped who she is today.. She has always had a soft spot in her heart for fiddle music, but her favorite style is contemporary and modern.