Owen Kennedy Submitted photo

Owen Kennedy, a 17-year-old award-winning Maine fiddler, is releasing his debut album, “Oh When: Now,” featuring tunes rooted in the Maine Maritime music tradition as well as favorites from Scotland, Cape Breton, and the Shetland Islands.

This musical snapshot showcases the places he’s visited and the musicians he’s played with and learned from – both close to home at Maine Fiddle Camp with Ellen Gawler and Steve Muise and further afield with Seán Heely, Katie McNally, Alasdair White, and Kevin Henderson. Many talented Maine folks were part of this project: It was recorded with Owen Marshall, mixed by Noah Fishman, and mastered by Lincoln Clapp, with album design by Elsie Gawler and duplication from Crooked Cove.

Several album release events are planned for this summer, including in Kennedy’s hometown of Winthrop with Seán Heely, as well as in Lewiston, Portland, and Farmington.

Kennedy is the 2022 New England Regional Open Scottish Fiddle Champion and the 2021 Junior US National Scottish Fiddle Champion. He won the 2021 Young Stars of Maine “Glenn Jenks Future in Music” prize from Bay Chamber Music School and was selected for Best of All Things Irish from the Maine Irish Heritage Center.

This summer Owen is also wrapping up his independent ethnomusicology project, “50 Fiddlers from 50 States,” which includes selecting a fiddler from each of the fifty states and learning a tune associated with that fiddler from archival recordings. Kennedy’s recordings of these tunes, along with notes on each fiddler, can be found on YouTube.

Kennedy was accepted to Cape Breton University and will be attending his first year at Beinn Mhàbu for the Gaelic Foundations: Living Cultures program in September 2023.

For more information and event details, go to www.fiddlerokennedy.com.

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