Owen Kennedy is an engaging young fiddler whose love of traditional music and enthusiasm for performing has captivated audiences from Cape Breton to Florida.  He began playing the violin at four years old as a Pineland Suzuki School, learning music by ear; his first violin was a box with ruler stuck in it, “played” with a wooden dowel rod!  He continues to study classical violin with Betsy Kobayashi – on a full-sized instrument, no more cardboard! – and is a member of several chamber & orchestral groups.  However, his first love is fiddling, which he began at the age of seven, performing with Ellen Gawler and the Pineland Fiddlers.  Owen particularly enjoys fast arrangements and adding his own flourishes & rhythm harmonies. 


Musical influences include Ten Strings and a Goatskin, his teacher Ellen Gawler & the Gawler Family Band, Greg Boardman, and Alasdair Fraser, among many others.  He listens to traditional music in the car, while he does math, on headphones as he goes to sleep... pretty much all the time.  A few of his current favorite bands are Ten Strings and a Goatskin, The Eastpointers, Coig, De Temps Antan, Cassie and Maggie, and The Lumineers.



Several years ago, Owen began playing the bodhran (a Celtic drum), which provides another layer of sound when he performs with a group. He has recently picked up the mandolin and is playing around with chords and improvising, and is also experimenting with the keyboard.


At just twelve years old, Owen has fiddled all around central & Southern Maine, traveled to Cape Breton with the Pineland Fiddlers, and busked up and down the East Coast on family trips.  Locally, he has been on stage at Hannaford Hall for the Maine Acoustic Festival; at the Waterville Opera House for the Alfond Youth Center Talent Show; at both Bates and Colby Colleges; and at the Maine Highland Games with the Pineland Fiddlers.  Owen also plays with the MaineFolque Co-op since 2015, when the group performed for the American Folk Festival in Bangor.  Led by Cindy Larock and based in the Lewiston/Auburn area, the Maine Folque Co-op provides music for contradances and various special events like St. Patrick’s Day, the Great Falls Balloon Festival, and Maine Maple Sunday.  Recently, he’s also had a blast playing with the Sandy River Ramblers as a special guest.  You may have seen him at the Boothbay Harbor Fest, the Gardiner River Fest, the Winthrop Sidewalk Art Festival, the Victorian Fair in Portland, a Gardiner Artwalk celebration, or a jam session in Farmington.  One of his favorite performances was an impromptu invite to get on stage with Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy at The Strand in Rockland!  


In addition to performing with Pineland Fiddlers and the Maine Folque Co-op, Owen enjoys playing hymns at church and entertaining friends at school or camp events.  He plays classical music with the Capital Strings, Pineland Suzuki School's advanced group, the Mozart Mentors Orchestra, and various chamber groups.  He attends New England Suzuki Institute and Maine Fiddle Camp in the summer, and travels as much as possible, most recently to the Festival Memoire & Racine in Joilette, Quebec and The New World Festival in Randolph, Vermont.  This year, he is hoping to get to Cape Breton's Celtic Colours 2018!


Owen loves being outside - hiking, catching frogsswimming, kayaking, jumping off the dock, biking, skiing, and fishing.  He also loves to cook, and has been known to surprise his family with muffins or pancakes first thing in the morning.  

Other interests include reading, making pottery and art; and... most of all, fiddling!!