Blue Zone

The four-piece Prince County-based Blue Zone bluegrass band is returning to Evangeline Bluegrass Festival July 12-14, 2024, in Abram-Village to share their traditional styled music with their faithful fans. And they’re bound to make new fans as well. The foursome will be performing a single 40-minute set Saturday, July 13, at 2:15 p.m. so those wishing to hear them should make there they are there in time. Over the past eight years or so Blue Zone has performed at numerous PEI bluegrass festivals and ceilidhs. The group is made up of, from left, fiddler Steve Perry, banjo and mandolin player David Miller, bass player Mim Murphy and the guitar-playing John Campbell. Everybody contributes to the vocals.

Bluegrass Diamonds

Pretty well everywhere they perform, the Bluegrass Diamonds tend to be the headliners because they’re just that good. This will certainly be the case yet again this year when they headline the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival in Abram-Village July 12-14, 2024. The extremely talented and popular group, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will perform a 45-minute show Friday, July 12, starting at 4:15. Then they’ll close the Saturday show, starting at 9:20, and the Sunday show at 3:20 p.m., both with 40-minute sets. Bluegrass Diamonds was established by a group of highly skilled bilingual Acadian musicians from southeastern New Brunswick. They recorded and released their first album in 1990; so far, they’ve released eight albums (some in English, some in French) as well as a concert DVD. This energetic and highly entertaining group has performed all over Canada and shared stages with some of the biggest bluegrass names in the world. They’ve earned countless nominations and have won numerous awards from both the East Coast Music Awards and East Coast Bluegrass Awards. The group is currently composed of one of the original members of the group, Vincent Cormier, and his son Louis Cormier. They’ve recently added superstar musician Ray Légère and his right-hand man Frank Doody to the mix, meaning there is no limit to the heights they can reach. (Photo: from left, Frank Doody, Ray Légère, Louis Cormier et Vincent Cormier.)

Bluegrass Traditions

The highly skilled Bluegrass Tradition, hailing from the Halifax area, will proudly represent Nova Scotia at the 2024 edition of the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival July 12-14 in Abram-Village, PEI! They’ll in fact be the only band from Nova Scotia at the event, so they’ll be sure to give their all to represent their province and make it proud. They’ll be performing three 40-minute sets over the weekend: Friday at 5:40 p.m., Saturday at 10:35 a.m. and Sunday at 10:45 a.m. Bluegrass Tradition, which was founded by Trevor Boutilier and Karen DeCoste, has been performing since 2015 and is dedicated to the traditional bluegrass music they love. The band has won many awards including Band of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Gospel Performance of the Year at the East Coast Bluegrass Music Awards. Trevor was awarded the Mandolin Master award and has won Male Vocalist, while Karen has earned the Female Vocalist Master award , as well as Bass Player and Composer of the year awards. Ryan Dillman has been playing music since he was 8 years old. He has won many awards including the Banjo Master award. Ryan led the successful band Shadow River for many years and his influences are deeply rooted in traditional bluegrass music. Andrew Kent is a versatile fiddler and is a well-known performer, session musician, and teacher. He has performed all over the world including a performance for the royal family and prime ministers. Andrew is also a long-time fiddler at the Calgary Stampede grandstand show. The band invites everyone to “Sit back and relax as you are transported to a simpler time with memories of the past while you listen to familiar music and sounds from Bluegrass Tradition!” In the photo, from left, are Andrew Kent, Trevor Boutilier, Karen DeCoste and Ryan Dillman.


The Island’s very own Bluestreak will be hitting the stage of the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival (July 12-14 in Abram-Village) with a new boost of energy this year. That’s because they’ve got a new album and because they’ll be featuring, along with their usually top-notch talent, the powerful vocal talent of new band member Marcella Richard. A very loved and respected talent from the Evangeline area, Marcella is making her very first appearance at the festival. She and the heavy-hitting band will certainly not disappoint when they perform their two 40-minute sets Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1:45 p.m. Original formed in 2004, Bluestreak played festivals and events all over Atlantic Canada and into Quebec. The band’s first two albums, "First Impression" and "Second Nature" were very successful, earning nominations from both the PEI Music Awards and the East Coast Music Award. In 2008, the band stopped performing after the loss of a band member. In 2020, the band regrouped with a couple of new members. They recently released their third album, called "Rounding Third". The new album consists of 15 original songs in a its traditional acoustic style of bluegrass, roots, folk, country and gospel. Some are heartfelt, some are humorous, but all were written, recorded and produced by the band. They hope their songs strike a chord with their listeners. PHOTO: Bluestreak is made up of Peter Richards on dobro, Roger Wightman on banjo, Marcella Richard on acoustic and vocals, Dave Blue on standup bass and mandolin player/singer Larry Campbell.

Eddy Poirier & Grassline

The Evangeline Bluegrass Festival is extremely privileged to welcome the revered master bluegrass musician Eddy Poirier – a member of the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame – to its 2024 festival July 12-14. He and his band Grassline will grace the Abram-Village stage with three 40-minute sets: Friday at 2:45 p.m., Saturday at 9:05 p.m. (a very coveted spot, right before the headliners) and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Born in Rogersville, NB, Eddy is a five-time winner of the Entertainer of the Year Award and Guitar Player of the Year Award at the East Coast Bluegrass Music Awards, making him a master in both. He has also won countless other awards over the decades. Eddy has several recordings dating back to the 1960s; he was the frontman of the legendary band The Bluegrass 4. The master currently plays banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin; he also sings lead and harmony vocals. Poirier’s band is made up of three top-of-the-line musicians. From Hillsborough, NB, Dennis Douthwright joined Grassline in early 2023; he plays mandolin and sings. He was part of the bands Demoiselle Creek (1991-2000), Special Edition (2000-2005) and The Douthwrights (2006-2019), who recorded three CDS during his stint with them. A cousin of the Poirier family, Laurie Chavarie was born in Acadieville, NB. With Grassline, Laurie plays guitar and mandolin and sings. Having played in several bands since his teen years, Laurie just recently ended a 20-year stint fronting Timberland Express. Friend Laurie Beaman, from Campbellton, NB, played in Mountain Meadow through most of the 1990s. He then joined A New Blade of Grass (1999-2006). He played with the Eddy Poirier Family from 2010 until the group disbanded. He’s now back to take on a new adventure on bass and vocals with Grassline.

PHOTO: From left, Dennis Douthwright, Laurie Beaman, Eddy Poirier and Laurie Chavarie.


A group of friends that had played bluegrass music that is from the heart for quite some time, decided to form a band in 2009 to play the Island bluegrass festival circuit. The name of their band, Heartfelt Bluegrass, simply evolved from their style of playing. They’ll be returning to the 2024 edition of the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival in Abram-Village to play two 40-minute sets, Saturday, July 13, at 12:45 p.m. and Sunday, July 14, at 1 p.m. Fans won’t want to miss their great performances. Over the years, they’ve played at Evangeline as well as at the St. Louis Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Festival, the Summerside Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival and the PEI Island Bluegrass Festival in Dundas. The newest additions to the band are Cheryl Currie on upright bass and her husband John Currie on guitar; both do lead and harmony vocals. Other band members are Larry Jones on vocals and Wilma Jones on mandolin, guitar and vocals. All four have previously performed with other bands. PHOTO : John Currie,  Cheryl Currie,  Wilma Jones and Larry Jones.

High River

High River, a dynamic bluegrass band hailing from the picturesque landscapes of eastern New Brunswick will serve up a beautiful blend of traditional roots and modern flair during their three sets at the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival in Abram-Village July 12-14. The popular foursome will hit the stage Friday night for a 30-minute set at 6:25, just before the official opening ceremonies. Their next two performances highly anticipated performances, both 40-minute sets, will begin Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The band consists of Jason Guimond on Banjo, Thomas Leblanc on guitar and vocals, Marcel Allain on bass and vocals and Lawrence Martin on mandolin and vocals. They say High River embodies the spirit of bluegrass while pushing boundaries and exploring new musical territories. From high-octane traditional standards to soul-stirring ballads, High River delivers a musical journey that leaves audiences craving more. PHOTO: Marcel Allain, Lawrence Martin, Thomas Leblanc and Jason Guimond.

Jamie Matthews

Highly respected classic country singer Jamie Matthews and a few of his musical friends will be hosting the first-ever pre-festival country show for the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival Thursday, July 11, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in the Acadian Festival Barn in Abram-Village. Admission to this show is $10 (at the door). However, those who have a weekend pass to the festival will be admitted free! Knowing that bluegrass fans tend to also be fans of classic country, organizers of the festival invited Jamie to delight the crowd with his perfectly twanged country voice. Audiences can expect that he’ll perform lots of classic 60’s, 70’s and 80’s lovin’, hurtin’ and drinkin’ songs by the likes of George Jones, Merle Haggard, Vern Gosdin, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Ricky Skaggs and many more. Hailing from Alberton, P.E.I., Jamie Matthews began his musical journey at the tender age of 5, sharing the stage with his mother Mabel Matthews. Over the years, he honed his craft and rose to prominence as the lead vocalist in esteemed West Prince bands Deuces Wild and Rock Bottom. Jamie’s talent shone brightly as he clinched victory in the 1991 Lobster Carnival Youth Talent Search, followed by a triumph in the adult contest in 1992. Returning to his country roots, Jamie now mesmerizes audiences with his deep, rich vocals as part of a popular trio alongside Joey Doucette and Kurk Bernard. With a voice that captivates hearts, Jamie continues to enchant listeners with his soulful melodies. All real country fans will not want to miss this show.

Janet McGarry

Perennial favorite Janet McGarry, from Charlottetown, hasn’t missed too many, if any, editions of the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival – and she’s not about to start this year. Bluegrass fans from all over will be delighted to see her returning to the Abram-Village stage July 12-14. She and her husband, Serge Bernard, will be hitting the stage with Karen DeCoste and Trevor Boutilier of Nova Scotia’s Bluegrass Tradition, for three 40-minute sets Friday at 3:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:15 p.m.
McGarry and Bernard have performed for many years at bluegrass festivals and many other events throughout Eastern Canada and beyond. Janet is a five-time ‘‘Female Vocalist of the Year’’ recipient at the Eastern Canadian Bluegrass Music Awards, earning her a Master’s in the category. She is also a proud  ‘‘Daughter of Bluegrass’’, a group of international leading women in bluegrass music. Serge Bernard is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, playing mandolin, guitar, fiddle, dobro, bass and his instrument of choice – banjo. He is also a co-host of Bluegrass Island, a one-hour bluegrass show that airs Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. on Tantramar Community Radio 107.9FM.
Karen DeCoste and Trevor Boutilier, also a wife-and-husband team, also excel at their music and have also won many awards at the ECBMA. Karen was also honored as a Master in the Female Vocalist category while Trevor was honored as a Master in the mandolin category, and together, the songs they wrote also garnered them Composer of the Year.
These four musicians draw from the same well of traditional bluegrass and mountain style music and are excited to share their love for the history and early sounds of the music with their appreciative audiences.

Marcella Richard

When country-bluegrass-folk singer Marcella Richard does something, she goes all out. In her first-ever appearance at the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival (even though she’s from the Evangeline region), Marcella will hit the stage three times. First of all, she will appear in a brand-new Country Music Cabaret show with Sandra Jones Friday night (July 12) from 9-12 p.m. in the Acadian Festival Barn. (Free admission for those who have a festival bracelet pass.) And then, she’ll be featured in two 40-minute sets as a new member of the bluegrass group Bluestreak Saturday (July 13) at 3 p.m. and Sunday (July 14) at 1:45 p.m. on the festival main stage.
The golden-voiced Marcella grew up in a musical family in the Acadian village of Mont-Carmel and was surrounded by fiddles, harmonicas, mandolins, guitars and songs. She began singing as soon as she could talk. From her teenage years until her mid 20s, she performed in dinner-theaters, sang in multiple country-rock and folk bands and performed in community halls throughout the Maritimes. She was often featured with her sister, Patricia Richard.
This popular singer-songwriter recorded four solo recordings. Her first French recording, “Le Bon Fricot”, a musical product of high quality that was long-awaited by her many fans, was released in 1997. Two more French albums, “Imagine-toi” and “Prendre le temps”, followed in 2000 and 2005, and featured original songs from Maritime and Louisiana songwriters. Although these albums were country-folk in style, they all showed heavy bluegrass leanings. Her most recent solo recording, “Marcella Richard Sings Roy MacCaull”, a country-bluegrass tribute to her well-known father-in-law, was released in 2018. In more recent times, she joined the bluegrass band Bluestreak and recorded the album “Rounding Third” with them. They’ll certainly perform many of their new album’s tracks, some featuring Marcella on lead vocals.
Marcella’s songs have been – and are still being – played on radio stations across Canada, in Louisiana and in France. Some of her songs having reached the No. 1 spot on the Maritime charts. Her voice has been described as one that goes straight to the soul and can make people laugh, dance and even cry.

Ray Legere & Acoustic Horizons

The Evangeline Bluegrass Festival is extremely pleased to be able to feature Ray Légère, without a doubt one of Canada’s best bluegrass musicians, on its Abram-Village main stage not once, not twice, but SIX times during the weekend of July 12-14.
The world-renowned fiddler and mandolin player, who’s been performing for more than 35 years, will be featured three times with his own band, Acoustic Horizon, on Friday (July 12) at 7:30 p.m. and twice on Saturday (July 13), at 11:20 a.m. and 8:15 p.m. That top-notch band features the amazing talents of Alan Jeffries (guitar and vocals), Frank Doody (banjo, dobro and vocals) and Marcel Duplesis (bass and vocals). Then Ray will also be featured with the band he fairly recently joined, the festival’s headliners The Bluegrass Diamonds, also three times : Friday at 4:15, Saturday at 9:50 p.m. and Sunday at 3:20 p.m.
Légère has become a household name for music lovers across the Maritimes and way beyond. His astonishing technique and boundless musical energy enthrall and excite amateur seasoned musicians and audiences alike, and continue to garner what is already a lifetime of justly deserved accolades. From Sackville, NB, Ray tours the world and records with the top musicians in many musical genres. He has played with most of the great North American bluegrass players, including legends like Tony Rice, Alison Krauss, David Grisman, and Doc Watson. In 1982, he even filled in for Bill Monroe – the father of bluegrass – when Monroe took ill before a concert. Ray has toured internationally with artists such as Rita McNeil, John McDermott, Bowfire and Michelle Shocked. Since 2017, he has been seen touring with hit New Brunswick acts Tomato/Tomato, Laurie LeBlanc, Christian 'Kit' Goguen, and classical woodwind quintet Ventus Machina. Highly versatile and deeply knowledgeable, Ray is the session player that everyone wants to work with.
PHOTO : Acoustic Horizon is made up of, from left, Alan Jeffries (guitar and vocals), Frank Doody (banjo, dobro and vocals), Ray Légère (fiddle, mandolin, guitar and vocals) and Marcel Duplesis (bass and vocals).

Sandra Jones

Well-known PEI country singer Sandra Jones will be featured alongside local country-bluegrass singer Marcella Richard Friday, July 12, from 9-11 p.m. during the first-ever Country Music Cabaret show held in conjunction with the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival. This fun and lively show will be staged in the Acadian Festival Barn; regular admission will be $10 but free to all those who have a festival bracelet.
Sandra hails from Bloomfield. Although small in stature, she has a huge stage presence, aided by her enthusiasm and bubbly personality. She has been singing since she was old enough to walk and has sung at countless concerts, benefits, talent shows and weddings. In 1995, she won a CJRW Radio talent competition and was featured on a recording with other finalists. She has won talent competitions in Tyne Valley and Alberton and has performed all over P.E.I. and beyond, sometimes as part of the Clements Family group. 
Sandra Jones has several CDs to her credit. She is one of 14 Canadians featured on a Nashville-produced CD launched at the Calgary Stampede, called “New Faces”. On one of her trips to Nashville to release a CD, she performed at karaokes and got a standing ovation for one of her songs. When she’s not singing, Sandra operates a hairstyling and treatments business called Island Beauty Secrets.

Shane Douthwright & The Virtuosos

One of the most respected bluegrass singer-songwriters, who is now also dipping his toes into the world of country music, will grace the stage of the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival twice during the July 12-14 weekend. Shane Douthwright’s countless fans will no doubt enjoy his 40-minute headliner show Friday, July 12, at 8:15 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Hailing from Moncton, NB, Shane is an award-winning vocalist in the Eastern Canadian Bluegrass world and has recently expanded his musical role to include in the country music scene. In fact, Shane will be seen on both bluegrass and country music festival stages in 2024, including the Cavendish Beach Music Festival and the Stan Rogers Folk Festival among many other great festivals. Shane performed at Caribbean Goes Country in Holguin, Cuba, in February, as well as on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship for four weeks in March.
Shane had the honour of opening for country stars Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw as well as Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. A duo recording with his father gained the Douthwrights recognition with an ECMA nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year.
Shane has an incredible band, The Virtuosos, made up of some of the top bluegrass musicians in Canada: Ryan Dillman (banjo/vocals), Ivan Rosenberg (dobro/vocals) and Denis Arsenault (bass/vocals). 

SK Bluegrass

SK Bluegrass, a permanent fixture at bluegrass festivals throughout the Island since they formed in 1997, will be returning to the 2024 edition of the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival for two 40-minute shows of traditional-styled music. They’ll hit the main stage Saturday, July 13, at 6 p.m. and they’ll open the Sunday morning, July 14, festival proceedings at 10 a.m.
The group, is made up of Eileen Brown on guitar and vocals, Frank Brown on banjo and vocals, Glenda Johnston on bass and vocals, and Jerome Arsenault on guitar, mandolin and vocals.  The band mainly performs on the Island but they were privileged to be invited to play at the 40th Nova Scotia Bluegrass Festival in 2011.
PHOTO: SK Bluegrass is composed, from left, of Jerome Arsenault, Eileen Brown, Glenda Johnston and Frank Brown.

The Stiff Family

The popular Stiff Family will certainly contribute a great youthful energy to the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival when they perform 40-minute sets in Abram-Village Friday, July 12, at 2 p.m. and Saturday, July 13, at 6:45 p.m.
The Stiff Family has been performing bluegrass since 2013. They live on the beautiful island of P.E.I. where they enjoy farming and making music. Included in their repertoire is traditional bluegrass, gospel and some Celtic tunes. While the band was considered “cute” when the children began performing at an early age, they’ve actually earned all the accolades they’ve received over the years and have grown way beyond cute because of their great talent, even though some of the family are still teenagers and young adults.

Band members are Dave and Heather (Dad and Mom) playing guitar and bass respectively;  Aaron on banjo, guitar, dobro and doing vocals;  Hannah doing vocals and playing mandolin and fiddle;  Elizabeth playing fiddle and vocals;  and Abigail also playing fiddle and vocals.

The Treble Makers

“We are a fun, all-ladies band who love to sing and play music. We play acoustic country, oldies, bluegrass, and more. Our motto is: If you can’t have fun doing it, you’re doing it wrong!” With that attitude, they are sure to deliver a good time to the Saturday, July 13, audience at the Evangeline Bluegrass Festival in Abram-Village, even though they’ll only be performing a single 35-minute show starting at 3:45 p.m.
The Treble Makers started their group in 2015 when they were asked to play at a local community hall as part of a variety show. This one-night stand turned out to be so much fun that they wanted to keep it going. So they started playing at seniors’ complexes and manors. Soon, word started getting out about this fun group of girls and they began playing various local venues around the Island. “Since they always keep their shows upbeat, you can be sure to have a great time when listening to this lively trio! They are jokingly called the ‘Trouble’ Makers… one or two of them can tend to get a bit mischievous at times!”
PHOTO: The Treble Makers, from left, Stephanie Sark on guitar and vocals, Gail Thibideau-DesRoches on mandolin and vocals, and Cindy Ellands-Arsenault on bass and vocals.