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Our most popular student instruments, made exclusively for Kennedy Violins, are constructed to our professional standards of excellence, made with the highest build-quality and materials, and setup to our precise standards and measurements. These one-of-a-kind models are unavailable through anyone else and built to our exact specifications.
Each instrument we offer represents what we believe to be the best available throughout the nation at its respective price point. There is no instrument in our product line that we wouldn't be proud to recommend to our own students. Additionally, unlike other instrument suppliers, we specialize exclusively in stringed instruments, therefore exceeding every other internet retailer in our knowledge and expertise.
Customer service is our priority. If you are OUR customer, you will be a satisfied one!
As a Kennedy Violins customer, you are in excellent hands. Below are leading representatives of our team at Kennedy Violins who will not only guide you through the purchase of an instrument that is perfect for you but will make sure you have an excellent customer experience leaving you completely satisfied. As we are all string players, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We hope to hear from you soon!
Joel Kennedy is president and global strategist for Kennedy Violins, Inc. He has played viola and violin for over thirty years. He attended the Eastman School of Music in New York, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in viola performance and completed graduate studies in education there as well. He has played professionally in orchestras all around the United States and has students attending top conservatories in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently a violist in the Portland Opera in Portland, Oregon.
Joel Kennedy originally started Kennedy Violins in order to create a platform to provide high-quality instruments for his own string students, who often showed up at lessons with violins that were barely playable. Since then, Joel has traveled the world in search of makers who not only approach violin making with the highest professional standards but also as an art form to be respected. Every instrument maker that Kennedy Violins represents has been hand selected because they adhere to Joel's specific standards.
Heather started playing violin in the public school system in the third grade. She continued through college where she studied music education. Currently, she teaches orchestra at after school programs for three Portland grade schools and performs with the local Beaverton Symphony Orchestra.
Heather prides herself on being a helpful and knowledgeable person on the other end of the phone with parents who want the best instrument for their child. She is always a willing listener to any questions or need of assistance. Because of her years of experience teaching small children, she is especially adept at providing valuable information concerning which violin and which size instrument is best for young students.
Adam has been involved with music since he was eight. He plays violin, guitar, and piano. His high school string orchestra was excellent and toured throughout the United States. He studied with Krzysztof Zymovski and James Stern at UOP. At San Francisco State he played jazz violin in the Creative World Ensemble with Havez Modirzideh with whom he also studied advanced improvisation. He also worked in production in San Francisco for Bill Graham Presents as a stagehand and projectionist. At Evergreen State he studied Music Technology and Audio Engineering.
Adam enjoys composing and recording in his home studio. He has taught at the 4/4 School of Music in Clackamas Oregon for about 2 years.
Andrew Khederian is the head luthier at Kennedy Violins specializing in instrument construction and repair.
Rachel grew up in a musical family. She started singing and playing piano at an early age. In fifth grade, she began playing the violin in the school orchestra. It wasn't long, however, before she fell in love with the sound of the cello. Cello has since been her favorite instrument to play. Growing up in Portland, Oregon provided many opportunities for musical growth. Rachel participated in local groups like the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the Portland Youth Philharmonic.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in music from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, Rachel moved back to the Northwest where she currently plays for the Willamette Falls Symphony, the Willamette Falls Trio, and the indie rock band, Capraesque.
Karen Tsao is a sales representative who specializes in premium instrument consultation. She received her bachelor’s degree in viola performance from the Eastman School of Music. She has performed professionally in orchestras all over the world.
Karen is currently the principal violist for the Portland Opera and her particular expertise is traveling the world to test and select the best instruments for Kennedy Violins. She is fluent in several languages and is a great asset to Kennedy Violins in communicating with luthiers and selecting only the highest quality instruments.
Liz Lambson is a bass player, luthier, and writer from Colorado Springs, Colorado. With a bachelor’s degree in music and English minor from Brigham Young University, Liz has performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, Ballet West, Vancouver Symphony, Columbia Symphony, American Festival Orchestra, and Utah Shakespeare Festival as well as several rock, folk, and jazz bands.
Liz has performed with notable artists such as Peter Cetera, Audra McDonald, Renee Fleming, Sissel, and Michael Martin Murphy, and has performed on movie soundtracks including Forever Strong. She released an album of original folk songs in 2006 (Liz Rhodes, Red and Yellow) on guitar and vocals. Her writing experience includes working as editor of Eagle's Eye magazine, writing and editing copy for small business and corporate websites, creative writing, and blogging.
Liz enjoys painting, cross stitch, woodworking, and spending time with her husband and two mischievous sons.
Travis began playing the violin at the age of eight in the Portland public school string program. He recently completed his Bachelor's degree in music performance from Portland State University and has been completely engrossed in the Northwest music culture. Travis has a private studio where he teaches students. He also performs with various ensembles and orchestras in the area including the Vancouver Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony, Classical Revolution, Degenerate Art Ensemble, and Contemporary Portland Orchestra Project.
In addition to playing and teaching the violin, Travis enjoys reading, coffee, painting, and going to the beach. Currently he is working towards a master's degree, auditioning for other orchestras in the Northwest, and enjoying being a freelance musician.
Elizabeth is a certified Suzuki teacher for violin books 1-10 and viola books 1-3. She currently plays first violin in the HighStrung String Quartet and has served as Concertmaster for two years with the Oregon Pro Art Chamber Orchestra. She has also played with the Vancouver Symphony and Willamette Falls Symphony and gigs around the greater Portland area performing in musicals, weddings, and events. She studied privately with Hong Chou, Leo Whitlow, Cindy Petty, and Amy Morretti.
Her favorite things are Bach, the beach, travel, Irish fiddle, good food, sunsets, laughter, and musicals.
Shiloh Congleton, luthier, has worked at Kennedy violins since Dec. 2013. His favorite musician (this year) is Peter Green. Shiloh would like to learn to play the cello. This year he is most looking forward to completing the instrument builds that he's begun. Strange fact, he has two connected toes on each foot! Shiloh's favorite thing to do when not at Kennedy Violins is to build instruments and spend time with his beautiful wife and daughter.
Lessons with Jamie are always energetic, exciting, and encouraging. Jamie has been playing cello since the age of four and started teaching her siblings when she was as young as eleven years old. Since then, she has taught in the Vancouver/Portland area, even spending a school year teaching music in Oaxaca, Mexico. Jamie enjoys exploring all sorts of music styles, from bluegrass to jazz to classical — even some rock and roll.
Students begin with a solid foundation by learning proper technique. After getting acquainted with ear training and note reading, students can then start playing the music they want to make. Students are encouraged to think outside the box and try new things — Jamie helps every student improve their versatility and creativity.
Jamie always strives to make scales, études, and exercises fun and exciting! She encourages and facilitates opportunities for students to build a solo repertoire and play with fellow musicians. She intends to provide future cellists with a balanced and inspiring learning experience.
As a teacher, I primarily work with beginning and intermediate violin students, as well as adults wanting to improve the related skills of improvising, songwriting, and arrangement. Learning music is about discovery: discovering a powerful new way to express ourselves to the universe.
My lesson plans are tailor-made to give you the tools you need to express yourself musically. That may mean learning violin basics, music theory, and skills such as reading notation, pitch recognition and ear training, and playing music when there is no sheet music.
I currently lead the symphonic metal band Lumus and collaborate with other musicians and projects in the Portland area. When not writing or playing music, I also dance in the aerial silks and enjoy making delicious treats in the kitchen.