Teen Blues Guitarist Gaining Fame

The Bohm Theater in downtown Albion invites many talented musicians to share their music onstage. On Aug. 3, 2015, the Bohm featured Jake Kershaw, an amazing guitarist who shocked the audience during their monthly Blues at the Bohm jam session.

Kershaw is a 14-year-old freshman in high school who has played the guitar for six years. Better yet, he taught himself how to play the guitar.

“I took lessons for a year, but I learned nothing so I taught myself everything I know,” said Kershaw.

Kershaw kicked off his career playing guitar at the Blues Jam Chili Cook-Off in Marshall.

“I was playing in the basement for a short gig, but they liked me so much that they put me up onstage,” Kershaw admitted.

Six hundred people witnessed his skills that day, and after that, the offers kept coming. Last September he had the opportunity to go up onstage and play with Jonny Lang, a very well-known blues guitarist, who also started his career as a teenager. Kershaw was able to get a backstage pass to the concert. Lang had heard him play before, so he invited him up onstage to play along with him and the band.

“It was pretty packed. 1,300 to 1,400 people were there… It was crazy. I take it for granted that I did it, but now I just look back on it and think ‘Wow, I wish I could do this again.’ It was amazing,” said Kershaw. “I’ll never forget it.”

Kershaw has also performed at the Michigan Theater in Jackson, the Shakespeare’s Pub in Kalamazoo and in the Howl N Blues concert series in Muskegon. He recently performed at the Bohm as a guest on. He is scheduled to host the Blues at the Bohm on July 11.

Surprisingly, Kershaw is never nervous when he’s onstage. “[Playing the guitar] gives me something to do. It puts my emotions out … it’s just something with the mind that clicks,” said Kershaw.

Even when he’s not playing his guitar, music is still a large part of his life, as he plays the Euphonium in his Marshall High School’s band. Kershaw has played the Euphonium since sixth grade.

Lately, much of his focus besides school is on his guitar playing and his band. The members of The Jake Kershaw Band consist of Terry Oosterhart on bass and Ryan McFadden on drums, who graduated from Marshall High School in 2012. Generally, the band plays a lot of blues rock music.

“I like to play different music that people don’t usually hear. I try to spice it up,” said Kershaw.

He further explains that it’s his dream to become famous by rocking out on the guitar and performing his music “and to own all the guitars I can possibly get,” said Kershaw.

Starting out at a young age on guitar with true talent, Kershaw is in for a lot of opportunities to reach his dream. With supportive parents who go to all of his performances, Kershaw has all the help and talent he needs to make it big.


Photo curtesy of Jake Kershaw

About Taylor Anhalt 18 Articles
Taylor Anhalt is a sophomore from Oswego, Illinois. Enrolled in the honors program, she is studying English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. An avid reader and writer, she looks for many opportunities to continue her passion of writing. She runs Cross Country and Track and also performs in Albion’s Symphony Orchestra.

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