Multi award-winning Maria Cherwick is a violinist, violist and fiddler versed in many styles and traditions.
Until now, she’s perhaps been best-known for her work with her award-winning Ukrainian speed-folk band, the Kubasonics.
Originally from the Canadian Prairies, her studies and career eventually brought her to St. John’s, NL, where she’s currently based. She’s a highly sought after gigging and session musician, and she performs regularly with countless groups in Newfoundland.
Now Maria and her band, Jockey Special, are releasing the first single, “Murphy’s,” from their upcoming debut self-titled album to be released in the spring of 2024.
For more information please visit Maria Cherwick’s website.
The three-part medley “Murphy’s” is as lively and high-spirited as any kitchen party or Saturday afternoon pub session anywhere on the East Coast. Named for an Irish pub in Mexico, where it was premiered live in March of 2023, this set of fiddle tunes begins with “Pint of Whiskey,” an original by Maria in the Celtic style; next up is “Reel for Emile,” a tribute to Newfoundland fiddler Emile Benoit, co-written by Maria and one of her musician friends, Brad Dooley; the set closes with a Scottish-based tune, “Angus Campbell,” popular among old-time fiddlers across Canada. (Fun fact: Her mom used to play this tune, so it’s one of the first Maria learned as a child.)
Maria has performed, toured, and held leadership positions with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, MUN Chamber Orchestra, Brandon University Orchestra, and Edmonton Youth Orchestra. She also plays violin and viola in the Strong Harbour Strings Collective. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Brandon University and a Masters of Music from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Maria recently published Home From Away, an illustrated book of original fiddle tunes, and an accompanying album which won her MusicNL’s Celtic/Traditional Artist of the Year award in 2021. She enjoys performing her original material, as well as favourite Newfoundland and bluegrass tunes with Jockey Special.
Maria has also toured extensively both nationally and throughout Europe with the Kubasonics. And she was named MusicNL Side Musician of the Year in 2018 and 2021.
When she isn’t in rehearsal or onstage, Maria can probably be found hanging out with her cat, Calvin, learning new instruments (such as banjo and bandura), and making Ukrainian food.