• Thank you for being such a wonderful friend, caller and musician, mentor. Love you David. I will always remember our great times hanging out in Ithaca, Ashokan and at other dance events.

  • David Kaynor in Arizona

    May Madness was a dance weekend started by Prescott's Folk Happens contra community in the early 90's. It flourished for over twenty years drawing dancers from all over the Southwest, California and beyond for a weekend of great live music and hot contra dancing.

  • David & Tom Morley at John C. Campbell Folk School, March 2018I wanted to share this photo, my memory of the last time David and I got to play together. It was March 2018 and David was teaching a week of classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I drove in from Chattanooga to give a guest presentation and David and I got together several times and played tunes together.

  • David, we love you and we so enjoyed playing with you whenever you came south. Here's a favorite photo of ours from the JC Campbell Folk School in 2018, where you called and played with Over the Moon.

  • David playing his waltz, High Clouds with Just Desserts, at the Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music First Saturday Contradance, September 3, 2017:

  • The Carolina Cat Wranglers in Floyd, VADavid, the Cat Wranglers would be nothing—probably not even exist—without your guidance and inspiration. Thank you so much!

  • In 1994 I moved to New Haven, Connecticut to attend law school. One weekend a month there was no local dance, so I’d drive up I-91 and dance at the Friday night contra dance David called in Greenfield. The first time I did this I arrived to a smallish crowd of mostly men. I was an experienced dancer but knew no one but David.

  • I first knew of the Kaynor brothers in the Greenfield area in the mid 70s. I lived in Shelburne Falls and taught in Bernardston, and danced with Dudley in South Amherst until there started to be spinoff dances up in the hills. I particularly remember one the Kaynors led in the Buckland Town Hall, just down the street from my friends the McCuskers (formerly owners of McCuskers Market on Main Street Shelburne Falls).

  • My first time at the John C. Campbell Folk School was Dance Musicians Week in 2017. I was in the Indian Cooking class and my husband Greg Miller was busy Blacksmithing. We danced and listened to music every night.

  • David directing the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra's Winter 2017 concert in Montpelier, VT:

  • David was the first teacher I met the first time I went to Ashokan Northern Week in the early 1990s. A classically trained cellist, I had no real idea of what this music was about, much less how to participate. From that day forward, I felt that David would always make a little space for me to join the circle, and smile graciously and impishly at my efforts to play along. I treasure all the music that David brought into my life, and do my best to pass along both his inclusiveness and his making of magic harmonies on to my students.

  • Dear David,

    I met you at SAMW camp many years ago when you were my fiddle teacher. I had played violin through high school and a bit in college, but after that I'd only played infrequently for the following 20 years. You encouraged me, and invited me to the sessions at your house which I attended for several years until I started playing Irish style fiddle.

  • Here's David with Bob McQuillen and me at a FiddleRama gig at Northwest Folklife Festival.

  • My favorite among many memories of David comes from English & American Week at Pinewoods, 1989. A scheme was hatched on the final day, and by evening everyone was in on it. Director Jim Morrison asked David, who was on staff and had been donning dance skirts all week, to wear trousers on the final night "for the sake of the old-timers among us."

  • Hi David! Nora and I have such great remembrances of all your many visits to Ann Arbor. We are sharing a few photos of your visit in January 2019. What a fabulous time that was.

  • David, I'm sharing a couple pictures of you from 2006--they're not the best pics, but to me they capture your playful spirit. I think you had joined an "all-women" band onstage and had dressed accordingly, and this memory of you always makes me smile!

  • David's enthusiasm for helping people have fun has inspired dancers, dance organizers and musicians for years. His encouragement of everyone to jump in and give it a try made it easy for people to take part, in so many ways.

  • My appreciation of David Kaynor is deep and broad. Here are a few memories and some observations.

  • Two among many fond memories:

    1) Madison Hall in Morrisville, NY working with you and the VanNorstrand brothers. You did Petronella. You warned the dancers that clapping might confuse the band. Of course they clapped and you kept the band together through all manner of meter changes. Hugely funny!

  • David, I've had the pleasure of your musical company in several contexts, but I think playing for services at First Church Somerville will always be my favorite. So I'm sharing some photos from a few of those services with gratitude for all the musical moments I've experienced as a direct or indirect result of knowing you. Thanks for every one of them.

  • Thank so much for being part of my company of Musical Mentors and friends. Special memories of Ashokan, Brasstown, and a very special Memorial Day parade in Montague.

  • How amazed I was the day I learned that you were THE David Kaynor who was the composer of the Montague Processional! So much has happened since then. Thank you for helping me to believe in myself, for making music a part of my life, and for the gift of having known you. Because of you, I will always have the joy of music and dance.

  • David, you have been and continue to be a great mentor to Deborah, Sonny and myself, and an inspiration for all the music and dancing we have done over the years.

  • David and Betsy Branch together for a 2010 house concert in Portland, OR.A long car ride to a gig with David, during which he regaled us with the entertaining tale (among many other entertaining tales) of how he came to Swedish folk music many years ago.

  • At 12:55am on November 9, 2019, in the room below the stairs at the Westford Regency Hotel I spotted David and friends playing such wonderful music. With his permission I videoed this. It was a magical 45 minutes in the wee hours of the morning.

  • I am writing in regard to the recognition of David Kaynor. I have enclosed a copy of a dance ["Bells of Montague"] I wrote for him in 1989. My wife Debra Schultz and I stayed at his home after a dance I called at Greenfield. At that time, his home was very close to a church in which the bells rang throughout the night. Thus the inspiration for the dance.

  • Over the years, Pam and I often played with David at his Friday dance at the Guiding Star Grange. We'd often meet at a Chinese restaurant in Greenfield (I am sorry, I don't remember the name) for dinner before the dance. As these things often go, we'd be late and David would be waiting for us, already having ordered.

  • NHMC Calling Class - 2013

  • A Celebration of Montague May Days Past:

  • Will be celebrating you at Fiddle Hell! You've always been a huge musical force in my life—starting with the Northfield and Greenfield dance bands, where I met my husband-to-be 35 years ago! Congrats to you on this recognition and much love and thanks.

  • Thank you David for all the music and dances, and especially the instruction and encouragement for playing music. Your gift of music widened my world. Much love!

  • As one of the original faculty, and then as a board member, David's generous spirit and inclusive approach is pretty firmly baked into the DNA of Northeast Heritage Music Camp. Most campers can probably point to David as one of the first people to welcome them, gesturing toward an open spot in the informal porch jams he always seemed to be in the middle of as everyone arrived, and inviting them to join in.

  • Greetings from Trudy W., Fiddle Orchestra of Western MA bass player:

  • David, Rebecca McCallum, and Dave Bartley play for the Amherst contra dance in October 2021. Photo by Mary DeFelice Bartley.David, Rebecca McCallum and Dave played for three dances in New England as The Intracontinentals in October 2018, just before his diagnosis. As always, it was a joy and a privilege to play with David.

  • A Bunch of Old Guys

    Several years ago, David got hired to call and bring a band to play at the Montpelier, VT, contra dance on the first Saturday in February at the Capitol City Grange. He "hired" George Wilson (fiddle [maybe a little 5 string banjo]) from NY state, Dave Guertin (guitar) from VT, myself (bass) from Maine, and of course David himself (on fiddle and viola) from MA.

  • I first encountered David Kaynor at Ashokan Northern Week in 1984, and during the rest of the ‘80s he was the essence of Northern Week for me. The highlight of each day was his leading a procession of musicians to the dining hall before dinner playing a Swedish walking tune. Memorable as well was his contra dance calling while playing the fiddle, seasoned by his inimitable dry sense of humor.

  • I was working in Europe in June 1984 and found out that David would be in Sweden at the same time, so I arranged to visit him there. It was Midsommar—the longest night of the year—and many festivities took place.

  • Appreciation for David K from David M:

  • I wrote this piece for the Maine Fiddle Camp newsletter back in 2019. The story has also been forwarded to Sue Songer for "the book."


    David Kaynor was a special surprise guest at the second August week at Maine Fiddle Camp in 2019. Most folks know that David has ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), an almost always fatal autoimmune disease, the symptoms of which are never the same.

  • David used to hand draw all the flyers for his 4th, 5th Friday Guiding Star dances. Here's an example of one I kept. The title of my dance "The Calligrapher" is a recognition of this amazing talent that David had!OK, I've been working on this for a while, but when I write a dance it often takes a long time to tweak (years some times). This dance isn't tweaked yet but is based on a dance I saw David call maybe 20 (25?) years ago. The "hook" is a "squeeze balance" (line of four balances in to the middle of the line and out).

  • Skattungbyn, DalarnaDavid, I'm sending this photo from Dalarna in memory of meeting you at Ransäter and all that followed...from Greenfield to Polka Pants to jamming with young folks at Swannanoa. Sending you Bästa hälsingar! och Grattis!

  • David was among my very first introductions to contradancing, somewhere around 1984, in Maine. Bates College in Lewiston had contradances. Cindy Larock organized them, and David was one of the first musicians I heard and met there. We both used to wear those Amish pants and in later years David inherited a couple of pairs from me.

  • I’ve known David since the 1970s, but it was at Ashokan Northern Week in the early 80s that I had one of those Ah-ha moments during the daily Swedish jam he led before processing to the dance pavilion.

  • David Kaynor at Montague May Day, 5 May 2013I seem to have only these two photos from Montague May Days past with David in them, even though his presence has permeated that event over the years, and so many other times in my life.

  • It is always a pleasure being in David's company. I have sat in on many jams trying to keep up and he is always so welcoming.

  • Coming full circle ... Fiddle Orchestra of Western MA, fall of 2017Growing up in Wilbraham, I was fortunate to have Kaynors in my circle of friends...specifically Cindy and Carol. Although we shared Choralyres, theater, and swim team during our years at Minnechaug, I never knew David directly because he was out of high school before we got there ('68-'73).

    David was a presence felt nonetheless!

  • Happy Birthday and Congratulations, David!

    We are looking forward to seeing this celebration scrapbook with entries from so many who love you and have been inspired by your music, teaching, openness and community building.

  • WB Reid (banjo), David Kaynor (fiddle), & Laurie Andres (accordion)—Eastside Contra Dance (Kirkland, WA)—December 12, 2015Dear David—What joy you have generated on earth! I've known you since my time in New England during the roaring 80s of contra there. I eventually landed in Seattle and started the Eastside Contra Dance in 2010 with Laura Me' Smith and Mark Parker. Always a treat to have you with us at year end to support our small dance which I tried to present as a New England experience. You were the authentic touch!

  • "Striking The Strings" concert, Jacqueline Schwab & Tim Van Egmond with Donna Hebert & David Kaynor, Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield MA 10/25/15David, this concert was one of the many times I’ve enjoyed and been proud playing together with you. You did the sound too!

  • Thank you David for inspiring and mentoring me as a caller. Ever since the first dance I attended at Guiding Star Grange, I admired not only your great teaching and selection of dances, but also your fiddling/calling combo, your great harmonies and your use of the English language, especially in humorous ways!

  • David and me at the wedding of Nancy Spero and Rob Sullivan.Over the last 30+ years, you have been a special presence in my life, in so many ways and places: playing for dances and concerts here in Ithaca and elsewhere; telling scatalogical jokes at Ashokan; grabbing dinner at the Four Seasons in Saratoga Springs on the Friday of the Flurry; letting me and Phil camp in your back yard on our honeymoon tour of New England; hosting me when I came to town for the CDSS annual meeting; and so much more.

  • Dear David, I feel so lucky to be mother-in-lawed into your wonderful family. I cherish so many happy memories of being with you and your siblings—what an amazing bunch you are! I'm putting into the scrapbook a short video from a wonderful afternoon of you fiddling with old buddies on the porch of the cottage in Harpswell on August 25, 2013. One of many such great afternoons—I always love your music!

  • David's Greenfield dance, 2nd, 4th, 5th Fridays often fell on Dance Flurry weekend. David, of course, never wanted to cancel the dance, so for many years he hired Pam Weeks and myself to cover the dance for him while he was in Saratoga Springs. We'd drive through Greenfield on the way to the Flurry, play and call the dance, stay over in Montague, then continue to The Flurry on Saturday AM.

  • As a part time student at Springfield College in 1970, I had nowhere to go at Thanksgiving. The Kaynor Clan took me under their wings and I attended their major family gathering (at the Willows? Restaurant). I think that is where, in the midst of all the singing, I saw where David absorbed his sense of harmony. If you listen carefully to his work, barbershop harmony is never far off!

  • Dear David,

    I am pleased to number myself among the many hundreds of people who can easily conjure your voice in my head.

  • Vermont Fiddle Orchestra Spring 2016 ConcertDavid, you've been such a delight to know, admire, learn from, and play with. Thank you for the many, many ways in which you have demonstrated how love for dance, music, and community can come together and create a more joyful, inclusive world. So much love to you, David.

  • David was calling a dance at the Guiding Star Grange in Mass, in the early 1990's—and one particular dance had an odd progression, which David described as "spitting dancers out at the top, and spitting dancers out at the bottom." Wit that I thought I was, I called out from the floor: "David, what's with all the spitting? It will get the floor wet!"

  • Such wonderful memories of crossing musical paths with you over the years, David, at workshops, dances, and jam sessions up and down the west coast. And that first meeting in Portland, Ore. back in the 1990s — discovering that you lived in the same small town in Massachusetts as my brother!

  • I was so astonished to discover at the Kaynor Thanksgiving (I think it was 1975) that up there (living at my brother, Chapin's house) in Burlington VT you, cousin David, had begun playing fiddle and were playing the same “contra” repertoire that Van and I had been playing down in the Connecticut River Valley!

  • I was staff photographer at Ashokan for several years. Here's what I could find of David. Couldn't upload them all at the website, so I created this page.

  • Here is a video clip from June 2015 at Fiddle Tunes: David and Paul Gitlitz playing "Flying Home to Shelley."

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