Eric West – Biography

Eric West is a guitarist, composer and publisher who has performed and recorded with classical ensembles, folk groups and a children’s music duo. He has composed and arranged music for radio, television and stage. West’s music is featured on over a dozen recordings. His publications – include a guitar method book/CD, seven volumes of folk song arrangements, and a children’s book/CD – have been selected as curriculum resources by the NL Department of Education.

Eric performs primarily on solo guitar and ukulele, playing a variety of original compositions, traditional arrangements and classical pieces.  He also gives workshops at schools and  music camps. West has performed and recorded with some of the top musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador.

With the children’s musical  duo ‘Heather and Eric’, West has toured across Canada and parts of the USA. Heather and Eric have recorded three albums and were featured in five TV specials. In 1996 they wrote and recorded the award-winning  children’s book/CD Wind Over Dark Tickle (Breakwater Books and CBC-Radio). They were co-winners of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Achievement Award (1994) and recipients of the 1993 Writers Award from the Outdoor Writers of America for the TV special No Small Wonder (CBC-TV).

After serving as Musician in Residence for Gros Morne National Park in 1999, Eric collaborated with musician Shirley Montague and photographer Michael Burzynski to produce Gros Morne – A Musical Journey, a CD-ROM featuring music, songs and images inspired by Gros Morne National Park.

In 2001 Eric started the Vinland Music Camp – an annual week-long workshop dedicated to teaching and preserving traditional music. storytelling and dances of Newfoundland and Labrador.  He presently is the director of the Camp as well as one of the guitar instructors. The Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation,  a non-profit organization  incorporated in 2009, now runs the Vinland Music Camp.  Eric is currently the president and artistic director.

Besides his professional activities, Eric directs and accompanies the Potluck Singers – a community choir that volunteers perform in hospitals, nursing homes and other venues around the province. The group has performed at various locations throughout Newfoundland and toured Ireland in 2007.

ArtsNL awarded Eric the 2007 Arts Achievement Award for his contribution to the arts in this province. He was also awarded the 2017 Arts in Education Award, sponsored by Memorial University.

Eric lives in Ladle Cove, Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.