Spotlight On Musicians: Gary Papenhagen

Gary Papenhagen, FolkMADS local hero

11/25/2016: Contribute a tune to Gary’s tune book, in memoriam.

Briefly introduce yourself and how you got involved in dance/music.
My name is Gary Papenhagen and I began playing the violin in public schools – 1963. Yigal Zan resurrected my interest in the instrument in 1978 with Irish and American Old Time tunes. He was the match, I was a considerable stack of wood. Playing Dances really fanned the flame and have kept the blaze burning happily ever since.

GaryPapenhagen Outside 20150601
Gary Papenhagen, Musician

What’s a contribution (or a few) you’ve made in FolkMADS that’s most meaningful for you and how has that contribution enriched your life?
I have learned and gained an inestimable amount running the SF Megaband and we’re practically family after all these years. We’ve played some Great dances. Sweet!

When I was asked to help with bands on the 2nd Sunday English/Contra series I think it was with the idea that I and some combination of friends would play each dance. The pool of bands was a scant puddle. Now it’s a Water Park!! I had to leave Bo y Yo out of the Fall season, we have so many capable bands. Double Sweet!!

I love to play dances. I remember a while back when I was only getting one or two dances per year with the band I was in!! Bummer!! This is better – I play more dances each year than I can easily count. Super Sweet!!!