August 18, 2019
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14-year-old Whitefield boy with flair for instruments to put talents to work for good cause

Heather Steeves | BDN
Heather Steeves | BDN
Jamie Oshima, 14, of Whitefield, will give two concerts this weekend as a fundraiser for his class' eighth-grade trip this May. The teenager plays many instruments, including guitar, ukulele, drums and the Irish flute.

ROCKPORT, Maine — Before Jamie Oshima eats his cornflakes in the morning, he plays an instrument.

“I might pass by the piano. I can’t not play it,” said Oshima, 14, of Whitefield.

When he’s not attending eighth grade at the Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport or doing his homework, he is playing music. He plays after his homework is done until bedtime around 10:30 p.m. On weekends, he plays at contradances with his family as part of the Henry Road Bandits.

“All my life there’s been music in my house,” he said. “I’ve been surrounded by instruments. People come in and out of my house playing music all the time.”

Oshima has pictures of himself as a 2-year-old boy holding a wooden, stringless violin. Nowadays, Oshima most frequently finds his fingers on the frets of his guitar, but he’s known to pick up the banjo, ukulele, electric bass, violin, Irish flute or a pair of drumsticks.

“My life is music,” he said.

This weekend Oshima will use his skills to raise money for his school’s eighth-grade trip to Colorado where he and his 11 classmates will white-water raft and do service projects.

The concerts will feature solos by Oshima with a lot of jazzy finger-picking guitar as well as collaborations among Oshima and his family members and classmates. His entire class plans to sing the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.”

The first concert is 7 p.m. Friday, March 30, at the Sheepscot General Store in North Whitefield. The second show will be 7 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the John Street Methodist Church in Camden. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. There will be free pie.

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