Maine musician Owen Kennedy is an award-winning fiddler rooted in the Maine Maritime musical tradition and immersed in his growing passion for Scottish music, splitting time between Maine and Cape Breton where he's studying Gaelic language, culture, and music at Beinn Mhàbu.  Owen's love of traditional music and enthusiasm for performing has taken him all over New England, into Maritime Canada, and over to Scotland and Shetland, where he has played with the Pineland Fiddlers, the Young Tradition Vermont’s Touring Group and Youth Commission, and in duos with Seán Heely, Ethan Tischler, and Ben Foss.  Owen is the 2022 New England Regional Open Scottish Fiddle Champion, the 2021 Junior US National Scottish Fiddle Champion, and won the 2021 Young Stars of Maine "Glenn Jenks Future in Music" prize.  More recently, Owen has begun adding the tenor banjo and traditional songs into his performances.  Owen’s powerful playing can capture the melancholy of a Scottish air, mimic the sound of pipes in a march, or drive a good ol’ New England contradance tune.   


Owen’s debut album "Oh When: Now" was recorded with Owen Marshall and released in 2023.  Available now on Bandcamp, “Oh When: Now” is a musical snapshot of the places Owen's visited and the musicians he's played with and learned from, featuring tunes he's loved for years as well as newer favorites from Scotland, Cape Breton, and Shetland and includes tracks with Noah Fishman and Seán Heely.  Owen is also wrapping up a solo project, 50 Fiddlers from 50 States, which is available on YouTube.

Recent performances include the Young Stars of Maine Prizewinners Concert, the New World Festival, Waldo Fiddle Fest, Maine Celtic Celebration, and the Flurry Festival; opening sets for Còig in Maine and Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas in Vermont; house concerts in Cherryfield, for the Brownington Ceilidh Club in Vermont and a notloB Parlour Concert in Massachusetts; as well as several Maine tours with Seán Heely, most recently playing at the Maine Irish Heritage Center as well as joining the Seán Heely Band at The Dance Hall in Kittery and for the Maine Highland Games.  The YTV Touring Group spent 10 days in Cape Breton in April 2023, performing at the Highland Village, Strathspey Place, the Old Triangle Pub, and at the Gaelic College.  A May 2023 tour with the Youth Commission took them from a Feast & Field performance in Barnard, up to Quebec for the Fête de Mai celebration, and ended with a performance at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA.  Over the years, Owen has shared the stage with Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, Genticorum, Claude Méthé, Pete Sutherland & Oliver Scanlon, the Outside Track, Andrea Beaton & Troy MacGillivray, and Owen Marshall and performed solo at local markets & festivals, kicking off the Boys & Girls Club National Conference in San Diego with an audience of several thousand, and at The Big Gig, the final Shetland Folk Frenzy concert at The Mareel.  

In addition to performing, Owen Kennedy has been giving private fiddle lessons in-person and online since 2019.  Currently he’s also offering group lessons at Beinn Mhàbu and will be teaching at the 2024 Trad Camp in Burlington, VT.  Owen’s passion for teaching is fueled by his excitement to carry and pass on the fiddle tradition and what he has learned from the many mentors who have generously taught him over the years.

Now spending part of each year in Cape Breton, Owen is studying at Beinn Mhàbu and thriving in the rich musical landscape.  Owen has had the opportunity to learn from Gaelic speakers, culture-bearers, and musicians in the classroom and in the community, whether making “white pudding,” learning waulking songs while hiking along a stream, or playing tunes in the stairwell with one of the artists-in-residence.  Owen has joined in several performing opportunities, including a Ships of 1801 show and at the Highland Village’s Oidhche Shamhna (Gaelic Halloween) in Iona, and has been featured in two Wednesday Night Céilidhs at the The Gaelic College.  Evenings might find him at an informal céilidh in a local living room, playing or dancing at a square dance, or joining in at a session at The Red Shoe or An Drochaid.  Not one to miss the chance to go fishing or exploring, he’s also thoroughly enjoying time out on the water, cooking up fish by bonfire on shore, and hiking in the mountains and along quiet gravel roads.

Quote from Alasdair Fraser

After my opening set for the 10/2/21 show in Colchester, VT Alasdair Fraser shared: "What a lovely way to begin – it made me feel so homesick and very comfortable…  I’m in familiar surroundings.  Owen, it’s just a beautiful recital you gave there.  I loved everything about it!"

Short Bio

Maine musician Owen Kennedy is an award-winning fiddler rooted in the Maine Maritime musical tradition and immersed in his growing passion for Scottish music, splitting time between Maine and Cape Breton where he's studying Gaelic language, culture, and music at Beinn Mhàbu.

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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 a ruler stuck in it “played” with a wooden dowel rod. He studied with Betsy Kobayashi for ten years and participated in several chamber & orchestral ensembles including the Capital Strings ensemble, Mozart Mentors Orchestra, Maine All State Orchestra, and Mid-Maine Youth Orchestra.

Although he enjoyed the challenge and intricate harmonies of classical music, Owen's true love is fiddling.  At seven, Owen began lessons with Maine Master Fiddler Ellen Gawler and performing with the youth group she leads, the Pineland Fiddlers.  From his very first fiddle performance of Shetland tunes at the beloved Skye Theatre, it became clear that Owen had a gift:  his infectious joy in sharing traditional music.  Owen continues to join Ellen Gawler on stage whenever he can and has a deep affection for the Maine Maritime style he plays for contradances, at Maine Fiddle Camp, and at various celebrations and local events.

Owen’s connection to the Scottish style was ignited in Cape Breton, when he first visited with the Pineland Fiddlers in 2015 and when he returned for Celtic Colours 2018.  The flame grew in 2019, with an immersion into the music of the otherworldly Shetland Islands at the Shetland Folk Frenzy and jam sessions in Edinburgh.  Soon after, Owen met champion Celtic fiddler Seán Heely and was inspired by Seán’s performances and workshops at the Acadia Traditional School of Music and Dance and Fiddle Hell, motivating him to dive into the Scottish fiddling tradition and join Seán’s studio in 2020, and culminating in his own recent win at the Junior US National Scottish Fiddle Championship competition.  Since then, they have performed together in Maine each year beginning in 2021 with events at the Boothbay Railway Festival, Doolin’s Pub, and Searsport Shores.   In May 2022, Owen joined Seán and Beth Patterson to perform at The Hayloft at Dragonfly Barn, with Belfast Flying Shoes at Mermaid Plaza, at Irish Night at Blue in Portland, as part of the Old South Church Concert Series in Farmington, and in their final stop on the May Tour, Bangor Celtic Crossroads.  In August, Owen was a guest performer with the Seán Heely Band at the Maine Highland Games and at The Dance Hall in Kittery.  Later that same year, Owen won the New England Regional Open Scottish Fiddle Championship and was awarded best reel, best, strathspey, and best march as well.  Most recently Owen and Seán played at the Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland and at Cumston Hall in Monmouth.

In addition to performing with the Pineland Fiddlers, Owen played with the Maine Folque Co-op for many years, including when the group performed at the American Folk Festival in Bangor in 2015.  Led by Cindy Larock and based in the Lewiston/Auburn area, the Maine Folque Co-op provided music for contradances and various special events like St. Patrick’s Day, the Great Falls Balloon Festival, and Maine Maple Sunday.  In 2019, 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 at venues like the Barre Opera House, the Chandler Center for the Arts, and the Highland Center for the Arts.  In 2022-23 Owen was a Youth Artist Leader for the Touring Group, along with Artist Leaders Dominique Dodge and Andrea Beaton.  The group toured Cape Breton playing music at schools, retirement communities, and at local venues including the Old Triangle Pub, Strathspey Place, and the Highland Village.

When Owen is not making music with friends, performing, or practicing on his own, he enjoys fishing, hiking, hanging out with his dogs, boating, taking drives down back roads, cooking, bonfires, and the occasional computer game with his buddies on Discord.  

Selected Performances








2014 to 2018


"Champion fiddler Owen Kennedy preparing to release his first album"  – May 17, 2023 Interview with Aaron Tanguay from News Center Maine

American teens strike the right chord with Celtic tunes during Cape Breton road trip – April 28, 2023

Interview with Ryan MacDonald, CTV News Atlantic Reporter
“Jr. National Scottish fiddler champion to play Fall Foliage Festival” – September 21, 2021

Lisa Kristoff at the Wiscasset Newspaper


“14-year-old Winthrop fiddler plays to see people smile” – November 16, 2019

Abigail Austin at the Kennebec Journal


“Kennedy to perform at national conference” – March 1, 2018

Press Photos 

**Download via EPK folder** click on the photo

Owen Kennedy 

Shetland 2023

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Owen Kennedy

Vermont 2023

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Owen Kennedy

Québec 2023

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Owen Kennedy

Vermont 2023

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Owen Kennedy & Ethan Tischler


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Owen Kennedy & Ethan Tischler


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Owen Kennedy & Seán Heely 


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Owen Kennedy & Seán Heely 


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Sap Line

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Club Passim

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"Oh When: Now" front album cover

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"Oh When: Now" back album cover

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Owen Kennedy New England Scottish Fiddle Champion 2022

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Owen Kennedy NH Games 2022

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Social Media Links & Contact Information





Facebook & Instagram:  @fiddlerokennedy




 Booking:  Christina Kennedy at (207) 620-2355 or


Hometown:  Winthrop, Maine