After playing for charity, an Alaska teen guitarist gets to play at world music festival

Published: Feb. 22, 2019 at 9:21 AM AKST
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A young Alaska guitar player used his musical talents to help raise money for others in need.

15-year-old guitarist Owen Parduhn played at a benefit for a home owner who's house was red tagged after the November 30th earthquake.

Following his playing at the benefit, Parduhn was offered a big break after his playing was overheard.

Stephen Blanchett with the Alaska Native Heritage Center heard Parduhn play at the benefit, and it caught his ear.

"This young gentleman. I'd never seen him before," said Blanchett. "Just caught my attention. I was hanging out talking with people and I hear this guitar riff."

After hearing him play, Blanchett asked Parduhn to play at the Circumpolar World Music Festival.

Parduhn says his playing is influenced by early rock and roll.

"I first started playing Richie Valens music," Parduhn said. "I was heavily influenced by like fifties rock because I live with my grandpa and grandma and my grandpa kind of introduced me to music."

Channel 2 photojournalist Phil Walczak contributed to this report.