Owen Kennedy is a fifteen year old fiddler from Maine
whose love of traditional music and enthusiasm for performing has captivated audiences from Cape Breton to San Diego to the Shetland Islands and all over New England.  He enjoys tunes from traditions beyond Maine, especially Scotland & Shetland, Cape Breton, Quebec & the Maritimes, and appreciates the challenge of playing true to the authentic style of a place and culture.  Whether capturing the jazzy bounce of a Maritime reel, mimicking the sound of the bagpipes in a Scottish march, or driving a good ol' New England contradance tune, Owen's powerful playing, clean articulation, and artistic ornamentation are a delight.    

Though young, Owen is a seasoned performer – entertaining at the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors dinner and kicking off their National Conference in San Diego with an audience of several thousand, to performing solo at the 2019 Shetland Folk Frenzy Big Gig at The Mareel in Lerwick.  

Owen has opened for Pete’s Posse and an Acadia Trad Festival concert in Bar Harbor, and has shared the stage with Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, The Outside Track, Genticorum, and Andrea Beaton & Troy MacGillivray.  Also comfortable in a more intimate setting, Owen has given house concerts from FL to PA to VT at The MacArthur House.  

Like many musicians, Owen has had many cancellations and postponed events from touring in Japan with the Young Tradition Vermont Touring Group to events planned in NYC and Quebec; contradance & wedding gigs cancelled; and no travel to Cape Breton for Celtic Colours.  Also like many musicians, Owen continues to make the best of the challenges with various video projects and sharing music online on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.  He also continues to connect with other musicians via Zoom: Virtual Maine Fiddle Camp, Virtual Victoria Trad Weekend, Boston Scottish Fiddle Club workshops, and Virtual Fiddle Hell.  It's a difficult time, but making and sharing music helps!  Covid has increased our flexibility & creativity, from playing outdoors for folks in a retirement community to a floating fiddle concert and livestream shows!

Owen began playing the violin at four years old
as a Pineland Suzuki School student,
learning music by ear; his first violin was a box with ruler stuck in it “played” with a wooden dowel rod. He studied with Betsy Kobayashi for ten years, and continues participate in several chamber & orchestral ensembles including Mozart Mentors Orchestra and the 2020 Maine All State Orchestra.

Although he enjoys the challenge and intricate harmonies of classical music, Owen's true love is fiddling, which he began at the age of seven, performing with Ellen Gawler and the Pineland FiddlersFrom his very first fiddle performance at the beloved Skye Theatre, pictured left, it became clear that Owen has a gift:  his infectious joy in sharing traditional music.  Owen continues to work with Ellen Gawler, and has recently begun Zoom lessons with National Scottish Champion fiddler, Seán Heely.  

Now fifteen years old, Owen has fiddled all around central & Southern Maine
:
 on stage at Hannaford Hall for the Maine Acoustic Festival; at the Waterville Opera House for the REM Awards; twice for the Alfond Youth Center Talent Show; at both Bates and Colby Colleges; and at Sugerloaf for the Celebrity Chefs Gala.  You may have seen him at the Boothbay Harbor Fest, the Gardiner River Fest, the Winthrop Sidewalk Art Festival, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, a Gardiner Artwalk or two, any number of farmers market or jam sessions from Wayne to Portland to Farmington to Boston to Cape Breton to Shetland!  One of his favorite Maine performances was an impromptu invite to get on stage with Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy at The Strand in Rockland.

In addition to performing with the Pineland FiddlersOwen has played with the Maine Folque Co-op since 2015, when the group performed at 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.  Most recently, Owen joined the Young Tradition Vermont Touring Group, an auditioned trad band of teen musicians, singers, and dancers who focus on learning traditional music and dance repertoire, performing monthly in Vermont.  

Owen enjoys playing hymns at church, entertaining at schools retirement communities, and offering music for weddings and non-profit events.  He also performs in multiple solo shows a year in Maine, earning money to fund his music education and travel.  In the summer, he attends Maine Fiddle Camp and other camps & festivals and travels as much as possible year-round, most recently to the Folk Frenzy in Shetland and Fiddle Hell in 2019. 

Owen loves being outside hiking, swimming, kayaking, jumping off the dock, biking, skiing, and fishing.  Other interests include cooking; making pottery and art; and... most of all, fiddling!!