John Kirk

Image of John Kirk

John Kirk teaches classes in the history of American and Celtic traditional music in addition to mandolin, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, mountain and hammered dulcimers, and traditional music ensemble.


Kirk is a nationally recognized singer, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, dance caller, and educator. Artists that have recorded his songs include The Dixie Chicks, Walt Michael & Company, and his own group, Quickstep. Kirk has performed and recorded with the Susquehanna String Band, Pete Seeger, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Joseph Bruchac, John McCutcheon, John Sebastian, Tom Chapin, Artie Traum, Mac Benford, the Burns Sisters, and the Vanaver Caravan. In 2011, as part of the United States Department of State program The Rhythm Road, Kirk and the band Mountain Quickstep were musical ambassadors to Kosovo, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Turkey. In concert, he has premiered works on mandolin, banjo, and fiddle by Lou Harrison, David Harvey, Carlton Clay, Henry Brandt, and Jay Ungar. He is also heard extensively on the soundtrack of Ken Burns’ documentary, The West, as well as on numerous television, film, and theater projects. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York, the Academy of Culture in St. Petersburg, Russia, Texas State University, and Alfred University in Alfred, New York. Kirk teaches instrumental lessons at Skidmore College and was an instructor at Bennington from 1998-2020. He joined as a faculty member at Bennington in Fall 2020.