Matt Kirby, 63, an award-winning hammered-dulcimer musician originally from Whitman, will be inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held in Lawrence, Kan., on July 30.
Kirby, son of Mary Alice Kirby and the late Senator Ned Kirby, discovered hammered dulcimers in Brockton at Summerfest 1975 while a student at Sacred Heart High School in Kingston. He ordered a basic wooden instrument and spent the rest of the summer playing it. Matt continued to design and build his own dulcimers during his studies in Art and Sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute. After graduating he performed with other musicians in a Celtic string band, Scartaglen.
Over 40 years of festivals, appearances, concerts, and forming other bands he is primarily known as a member of the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, named after the wry legend of the hungry mountaineer in Colorado. The Packer Band enjoys popularity throughout the Midwest.
Matt resides in Baldwin City, a small town near Lawrence, Kansas.