On March 7th, beloved musician Dave Noyes passed away suddenly in his sleep at the age of 45. Noyes was a cornerstone of the Portland, ME music and arts scene whose quiet contributions have undeniably shaped local popular culture for the past 25 years, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Dave was a member of many bands such as Rustic Overtones, Seekonk, Plains, The Fogcutters, Royal Hammer, The RJ Miller Trio, Model Airplane and collaborated with countless more, from Soulive to Lettuce to The Ghost of Paul Revere to Deer Tick to Ray Lamontagne. He was an accomplished composer, arranger, trombonist, cellist, singer, vocalist, record store owner, screen printer, band manager, and venue owner.

Dave Noyes was known by his friends and community to be kind, loving and thoughtful. He loved music, and he loved sharing his comprehensive record collection with his friends. He was never boastful, always helpful and supportive, and shied away from the limelight. His passing has sent waves of mourning and remembrance rippling throughout his community.

[Marquee at Portland’s State Theatre following Noyes’ passing]

Explains Lettuce saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, Noyes’ longtime bandmate with Rustic Overtones,

Dave Noyes was a great friend and mentor in life and music. He taught me how to listen closer to the records we were into. He showed me it was possible to not explain every detail of the music and just learn how to absorb it—absorb the feeling and soul that we felt when listening. He broadened my creative palette by showing me the best Reggae music, African music and the music from Brazil, in particular. My experiences with Dave, whether it was working together touring, arranging, recording or just listening, made me the musician I am today. He was also the kindest, most humble, thoughtful man I have ever been around my whole life.

Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), a fellow Maine native who had played with Noyes for more than a decade with Model Airplane, echoes Zoidis’ sentiments about their fallen friend, noting,

It’s easy to throw around declarative descriptions of people we care about when they pass… but I can say whole-heartedly, without a shadow of a doubt, Dave Noyes was one of the kindest, most gentle, genuine people I’ve ever met. His talents and efforts were without boundary or ego, as were his love and encouragement for his family and community.

As we thought about it, he was in pretty much every successful band from Maine that has a horn section, and arranged horn charts for damn near everyone.

As guitarist Eric Krasno explains, “Dave Noyes was a genius player and arranger. I don’t usually come across musicians with his level of talent and ability that are also so humble. He was a kind, gentle soul and it was always an honor to work with him. Its a major loss to the Maine community and I am sending love to his family and friends.”

Members of Deer Tick also offered their remembrance of Noyes. “The world lost a lot when it lost Dave Noyes,” they explain. “Amazing person, musician, husband, father, and one of the sweetest souls. Thank you Dave Noyes.”

Noyes leaves behind his loving wife, a 3-year-old son, and an unborn child. Noyes’ widow, Anna Maria Amoroso Noyes, also makes her living as a musician. Like many self-employed artists, Dave had no life insurance policy to help ease his family’s financial burdens. Anna is now left to raise two children with neither a second income nor a second set of hands to watch and care for them in the years to come.

The Portland music community has come together to raise money for the family of Dave Noyes with an ongoing GoFundMe campaign. You can donate to the cause here.

Dave Noyes

[Photo via Dave Noyes GoFundMe – Dave Noyes and his family]

While the campaign has already received an incredible outpouring of support from the local community, Lyle Divinsky explains, “The money that’s been raised so far is sure to go quickly after the funeral services, daycare, pregnancy, etc. As Anna Maria is also a professional musician, we’re trying to raise as much as we can to give her and Dave’s whole family the opportunity to grieve without worrying about the outside pressures, as well as create things like college funds and other accounts that will make sure the kids will be taken care of as they grow up without their father.”

In addition to the ongoing fundraising campaign, members of the Portland music scene have put together a special memorial event to honor Noyes and raise additional money to help support his family. GOOD GRIEF: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Dave Noyes, is set to take place on Wednesday, April 3rd at the State Theatre in Portland, ME.

The celebration of Noyes’ life will feature performances by Rustic OvertonesThe FogcuttersRoyal HammerThe Ghost of Paul RevereJaw Gems, Micromassé, Kenya Hall, Spencer Albee, Tony McNaboe, Lyle Divinsky, (The Motet), The Red Eye Flight Crew, RJ Miller. Later that evening, an official afterparty will take place at Portland House of Music and Events featuring performances by Model Airplane and Raging Brass.

All proceeds from the shows will benefit the family of Dave Noyes.

Tickets for GOOD GRIEF: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Dave Noyes are available now via the State Theatre website, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or in person at the Port City Music Hall box office.