KEVIN MAJOR is the author of 19 books, for both young people and adults. The first, Hold Fast, won several awards in Canada and was placed on the Hans Christian Andersen Honour List. It was released in 2014 as a feature film. His second book, Far From Shore, was the winner of the first Canadian Young Adult Book Award. Others which followed include Blood Red Ochre and Eating Between the Lines, winner of the CACL Book-of-the-Year Award.

In 1992 Kevin was given the Vicky Metcalf Award, for an outstanding body of work of significance to young people. The languages into which his work has been translated include French, Danish, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew.

An adult novel, No Man's Land, about the Newfoundland Regiment in World War I, was published in 1995 to much acclaim. Kevin’s adaption of the story was brought to the stage by Rising Tide Theatre and has played for more than a dozen years. His more recent books include the Christmas classic The House of Wooden Santas, and a history of Newfoundland and Labrador: As Near To Heaven By Sea (a Canadian best-seller and finalist for the Pearson Non-Fiction Prize). Ann and Seamus, a verse novel released in 2003 was shortlisted for a total of ten awards. It has since been turned into an opera. The adult novel New Under the Sun was published in 2010, book one of a trilogy of historical fiction. The second, Found Far and Wide , was released in 2016, and the third, Land Beyond the Sea, in 2019. In 2018 Kevin started a projected serious of crime novels with One for the Rock. The second will arrive in bookstores in the fall of 2020. Kevin has been named Memorial University’s Alumnus-of-the-Year, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Artist-of-the-Year.

After 46 years, St. John’s-based CROOKED STOVEPIPE continues its run as the oldest bluegrass band in Canada. Over the years founding members Neil Rosenberg and Ted Rowe have taken the band through five CDs plus a children’s recording with Colleen Power. Their CD “Just In Case” was voted Bluegrass Recording of the Year by the ECMA, and MusicNL named Colleen Female Vocalist of the Year for her collaboration with the band. Ted’s son Dave Rowe, Matt Hender and Carole Bestvater round out the current band.

NEIL ROSENBERG, banjo, grew up in the western United States and cut his teeth on bluegrass in Indiana in the 1960s, where he helped manage Bill Monroe’s Brown County Jamboree and played in the house band. He even got to play a few times with Bill Monroe – enough to put his name on Blue Grass Boys belt buckle #120. Neil moved to St. John’s in 1968. In 1985 he produced Bluegrass: A History, the definitive book on the roots and development of bluegrass.

TED ROWE, guitar grew up singing and playing Newfoundland and country music in Heart’s Content, Newfoundland, discovering bluegrass in the early ‘70s. He’s been singing lead with the band ever since.

DAVE ROWE, mandolin is Ted’s son and no stranger to musical performance or to bluegrass. Dave also plays guitar, bass and banjo, lending his talent to the St. John’s music scene.

MATT HENDER, bass is a graduate of MUN School of Music and hails from Conception Bay South. When not teaching or playing music he works on the family farm in CBS.

CAROLE BESTVATER, violinist, strives to share her joy of music with those around her. She is equally at home in classical and folk genres, maintaining a full schedule as a performer and educator. Carole relocated to St. John’s to pursue a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance with Dr. Nancy Dahn at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and loved it here so much that she decided to stay. Passionate about community, Carole founded the Strong Harbour Strings Program, an immersive after school music program based in the belief that communities can be strengthened through the learning and sharing of music. Carole is also on faculty of the Suzuki Talent Education Program, Assistant Principal Second of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and runs a private studio. In her performance life, you are just as likely to catch Carole playing Bluegrass, Irish, Newfoundland, Old Time or Appalachian folk music with a number of local bands as you are seeing her with perform with the Strong Harbour Strings Ensemble or the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.