This June, Champion fiddlers Seán Heely and Owen Kennedy will be joined by All-Ireland champion singer & multi-instrumentalist Kevin Elam to play a special program of Celtic Fiddle & Song, featuring haunting slow airs, lively Gaelic songs, mighty pipe marches, and wild twin fiddling. The trio will also share tunes from Owen’s debut album, “Oh When: Now” and from the Seán Heely Celtic Band's recent release, "Dramagical".
Seán Heely and Owen Kennedy met at the 2019 Acadia Traditional School of Music & Arts in Bar Harbor, Maine. Inspired by Seán’s workshops and performances at Acadia Trad and Fiddle Hell, Owen was motivated to dive into the Scottish fiddling tradition. With Seán’s mentorship, Owen went on to compete and win both the 2021 Junior US National Scottish Fiddle Championship and the 2022 New England Regional Open Scottish Fiddle Competition. Since then, Owen & Seán have been performing in venues and events across Maine featuring beautiful bouzouki & fiddle duets, haunting slow airs, lively Gaelic songs, mighty pipe marches, and wild twin fiddling. To listen, check out this YouTube playlist.
In 2021, Seán came up to Maine to play several events with Owen, including at the Boothbay Railway Festival, tunes at Doolin's Pub, and a show at Searsport Shores.
In May 2022, Owen joined Seán and Beth Patterson to perform in Maine 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.
After heading up to Cape Breton to enjoy Celtic Colours, Owen and Seán played several shows back in Maine with another Fiddlers in the Forest event hosted by the YMCA of Auburn-Lewiston, followed by a guest appearance at Vienna Union Hall as part of the Pineland Fiddlers concert. They fit in one more show at Cumston Hall in Monmouth, before taking off for Boston States Fiddle Camp.
Most recently, Seán and Owen played a few shows in May 2023, at the Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland, for the May Faire in Monmouth, and for an album release event for "Oh When: Now" at the Winthrop United Methodist Church.
"We had been looking forward to Celtic Colours this year . . . What a treat to hear Owen and Seán play together! They were as good as anything we've heard at Celtic Colours."
~ Boothbay Fall Foliage Festival