About Roy Johnstone

 Roy fiddling

"Roy Johnstone has the heart of a poet, the spirit of an adventurer and plays like the Devil."
Atlantic Gig Magazine

"One of the Island's most accomplished fiddlers "
Doug Gallant, the Guardian

Roy Johnstone has been active in the East Coast musical community for the past thirty five years. He has been recognized as one of the most accomplished fiddle players in Atlantic Canada .He is an active recording artist and has 4 solo albums to his credit for which he has multiple nominations for ECMA awards. Roy's most recent CD is "Live at Loon", recorded live at the New Hampshire Highland games with Steve Sharratt. His latest studio recording "Longshore Drift" was nominated for two PEI Music Awards and he recently re-released in digital format his ECMA nominated recording Rolling Waves. He joined the cast in the popular production of Dear Johnny Deere as part of the Confederation center's 2013 summer season.

Roy has received accolades for both his music compositions and his studio production. His music has been featured in award winning NFB and independent film productions and he has been invited to perform with many of the region's most noted artists such as J.P. Cormier, Laura Smith, Lennie Gallant and jazz pianist Doug Riley. The Highland Council of Scotland commissioned Roy to write music to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Scottish settlers coming to Prince Edward Island. This music is featured in a new international recording entitled An-t Eilean, the Island. He recently was awarded a grant to create a new work which will be performed with the PEI symphony as part of their 2014-2015 season.

His musical career has taken him to Iceland, Scotland, Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. He was presented with a Government of PEI Official Musical Ambassador award and he is often requested to highlight many dignitary events such as the recent Governor General's visit to Charlottetown, two Royal Visits, a Canadian Trade Mission to Iceland, Maritime tourism promotion to New England, a Maritime Premiers Conference and an Ireland Trade Commission in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

As well as being an active recording artist he has co-produced and engineered for many Island artists. A recent co-production with the Queen's County Fiddlers was awarded best group of the year recording at the PEI Music Awards. He has been featured as an artist in several documentaries produced for television (Musical Gardens, a Soul Expression production done for Vision TV and CBC, and Steeplechase, a Vision TV production).

Roy host an acoustic Irish session every Sunday at the Old Triangle Alehouse in CHarlottetown. He has given many talks and has lectured locally and in Scotland and the USA. He also teaches privately and has given workshops on many aspects of fiddle playing. He has written a fiddle column in the PEI Fiddlers newsletter for several years.

He is well known for, and contributes his talent to aid many social justice and community causes. He actively works to create a vibrant and healthy musical community on PEI. He has served as a board member and VP for the Island Music Association. He was the music representative on the PEI Council of the arts for several years and the PEI representative on the board for the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Artist Statement

"My music is a search for our common voice, a voice that speaks to the heart. Whether I am playing a Gaelic air or a jazz standard I bring a deep love and respect for the traditions within each musical genre. For me, music is a call to live passionately, to celebrate tradition while exploring the joy of creating new forms of musical expression."

Back to top