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Young fiddlers to perform at Sawyer Memorial

Fiddlers Owen Kennedy, 13, and Josh White, 16, began playing together as a duo last spring with a crowd-pleasing, high-energy performance at the Alewife Festival in Damariscotta Mills.

Fiddlers Owen Kennedy, 13, and Josh White, 16, will perform at the Sawyer Memorial in Greene on Friday, July 27 at 2 and 7 p.m. Both shows are free and open to the public.

Owen Kennedy and Josh White are two up-and-coming traditional musicians whose lively arrangements take their listeners from Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes, over the sea to Eastern Europe, Ireland and Scotland, and back home to Maine.  The boys have played together as part of the Maine Folque 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.

Josh and Owen began playing as a duo last spring with a crowd-pleasing, high-energy performance at the Alewife Festival in Damariscotta Mills. Both young men are fiddlers, but their medleys go beyond two-fiddle harmonies; between them, Josh and Owen play banjo, guitar, mandolin, bodhran – and their feet!

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 age four 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 continues to study classical violin – on a full-sized instrument, no more cardboard! – and is a member of several chamber and orchestral groups. However, his first love is fiddling, which he began at age seven, performing with Ellen Gawler and the Pineland Fiddlers. He particularly enjoys fast arrangements and adding his own flourishes and rhythm harmonies. 

At just thirteen years old, Owen has fiddled all around Central and Southern Maine, traveled to Cape Breton with the Pineland Fiddlers, and busked up and down the East Coast on family trips. One of his favorite performances was an impromptu invite to get on stage with Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy at The Strand in Rockland.

Josh White has been fiddling around Maine for the past eight years. In a journey to spread happiness through music, he finds himself playing in many different venues – from the Maine Fiddle Camp stage to local schools, restaurants, parks, and open mic nights around the Lewiston-Auburn area. The sixteen year old is currently a junior at Edward Little High School.

The Araxine Wilkins Sawyer Memorial is located at 371 Sawyer Road in Greene. For more information, call 946-5311 or see sawyer-foundation.com.

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