Breaking Down the Basics, Wynton Marsalis Serves up Jazz for Kids

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. That was just one of the lessons imparted by Pulitzer Prize–winning jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis during Friday’s Jazz for Young People program, held at the regional high school Performing Arts Center.

Livingston and Friends Take the Stage

Livingston Taylor concerts are many things, all of them wonderful, but most they are events that break down the barriers between performer and listener. As he said in a past interview with the Gazette, the audience is the boss.

“You need them, they don’t need you,” he admitted, giving some insight into both his humility on stage and his appreciation. He says a show should feel more like a conversation with the audience.

Giving Voice to a Restless Soul, Island Singer Makes Peace With His True Self

Willy Mason is sitting on a barstool in a London pub, smoking a cigarette and considering the last decade. He takes a pull on his beer and thinks about what all the buzz — tours with Radiohead, collaborations with the Chemical Brothers and duets with KT Tunstall and Rosanne Cash — has really meant to the young bard now closing in on 30.

DJ Shadow and DJ Euphony Beat Up

A heavy Latin beat echoes through the woods in Vineyard Haven. On the top floor of a garage a young man hunches over his flashing DJ controller. Colorful waveforms trawl across a computer screen and two powerful speakers fill the room with bone-shaking bass drum and silky smooth melodies. The musical tension builds and in a flurry of knob-twisting and button-smashing, 23-year-old Vaughn Russillo once again becomes DJ Euphony. Mr. Russillo grew up on the Vineyard and got his start making hip hop beats with a pair of turntables and an extensive collection of vinyl records.

Danny Kortchmar Rocks the Rock

Danny (Kootch) Kortchmar returns to the Vineyard this Tuesday, August 6, to Dreamland in Oak Bluffs.

The return of Kootch brings him back to his roots. You could say he began his music career here on the Vineyard, jamming at parties and on the beach. James Taylor played alongside Kootch when they were in the band Flying Machine.

Musical Legend Blows Into Town

When James Brown said, “Maceo, I want you to blow!” Maceo Parker got down to business with his soulful saxophone. Mr. Parker has played with the best and now he’s bringing his funky sound to Flatbread tonight, August 2.

Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are available at Alley’s General Store, The Green Room, Aboveground Records, Corner 5 or online at ticketsmv.com.

Singing Through the Darkness and Light

Lori McKenna is in the backyard of her home in Stoughton less than a block from where she grew up, and she’s laughing. The woman who writes miniatures of the way life happens, who paints a tableau of marital ennui and how thin paychecks stretch is anything but dour.

Not Just a Young Man’s Game, Rock Band Serendipity Keeps the Beat

Chuck a choo choos, shooby doo wop dee wops and wah wah oohs echoed in Merrily Fenner’s basement at a band rehearsal for Serendipity, the Island’s new mostly-female doo wop group. The band features Ms. Fenner on bass or guitar, Christine McLean on rhythm guitar, Chris Seidel on drums, Janis Syslo on tambourine, Mark Mazer on guitar, and the occasional Penny Huff on bass.

Back in Swing of Things, NRBQ Headlines Flatbread

From rockabilly to pop, rock and blues to jazz-rock, New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, NRBQ, can just about play it all. Founded by pianist Terry Adams in 1967, the band is known for its diverse sound and high-energy live performances. Recently Mr. Adams revamped the band’s lineup and has been as busy as ever, churning out two albums — one live, one from the studio — in the past two years. Another studio album is in the works. NRBQ returns to Martha’s Vineyard to play at Flatbread this Sunday, July 21, after a long time away from the Island.

Reelin' in the Years and the Hits, All Star Jam Rocks Out for a Friend

On Saturday night the opening guitar licks of Steely Dan’s Reelin’ in the Years poured out the doors of Hooked in Oak Bluffs and the crowd roared with excitement. The house was packed and the music was loud — it was a good night for fans of rock and roll. The crowd had come to see a supergroup of classic rock musicians who, despite their graying hair, were still young of spirit and haven’t forgotten what it means to rock out.

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