At the rebellious age of 8, Kelly Kancyr turned her first instrument—the violin—(her mother’s choice) into a guitar, playing it like a distorted Les Paul. Learning in that moment that musical instruments don’t have to be played in a traditional way; a philosophy that lies at the heart of her style.

After taking a hiatus from music while she attended Quinnipiac College, a chance phone call from a friend inviting her to hangout and listen to a jam session reignited her passion. Working with a borrowed guitar, Kelly spent the next few months teaching herself chords, scales, and progressions. A year later she joined her first band and never looked back. It wasn’t long before she was writing and recording original music and performing at venues along the East Coast.

Drawn to wide array of genres, Kelly finds she can change musical stylings as easily as she has moved around the world. Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell and Lucinda Williams, are just some of the influences echoing as undercurrents to her songs. In her vintage folk rhythms and emotionally raw lyrics, you can hear both the wide open spaces of Santa Fe, and the rocky beaches of the east coast.

Now 20 years into her career, Kancyr finds herself taking on the role of a mentor. Reflecting, “I find teaching the next generation of young musicians deeply rewarding. I enjoy watching my students begin what I hope will be their lifelong friendship in music.”

Kelly has performed throughout the United States. Her music has been featured on television stations such as ABC-WTNH, and radio stations such as WNHU and WPKN. She is currently working on her first album.