New Talent Joins Former Summer Staple

A few weeks ago, while sitting on a porch here on the Vineyard, Jessica Ashley leaned back, closed her eyes and began to sing. Or rather, she belted out a few lines, totally absorbed in the music. Afterwards she opened her eyes and asked, “Do you know that one? My sister and I used to sing that one together.”

Chamber Society

This Monday, August 6, will bring an unlikely visitor to the Island, a Dodd harpsichord. It’s not a total stranger to the Island, but Chamber Music Society artistic director Dee Stevens estimates that it’s been 20 years since it’s been heard here. This Monday and Tuesday, Ms. Stevens will play the rare instrument in a chamber music concert featuring the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his sons.

Sweet Baby Session Singer in Concert

Arnold McCuller has sang with Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Bette Midler, Beck, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett — the list goes on and on. But mostly the list begins and ends with James Taylor.

Wailers Concert

The Vineyard is not the tiny, sunny Island that birthed the smooth and rhythmic sounds of reggae music, but it will be the one to host some of the genre’s legends on August 14.

The Wailers, most famous for their work with Bob Marley, are performing at The Lampost in Oak Bluffs at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 in advance and $40 the day of the show.

Special guests include Junior Toots, Mike Martin y Los Rootsticks and Selectah Niko of One Drop Sound System. The show is presented by Nectar’s Presents and Rolling Rock.

Greg Brown Serenades Union Chapel

Folksinger Greg Brown got his first professional gig in the 1960s at the age of 18 and later became a record producer. He will be performing at Union Chapel.

Kootch Gets Back to his Roots

Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar got his start playing in bands such as the Kingbees and the Flying Machine. There was another skinny, long-haired fellow in Flying Machine named James Taylor who, at the time, was like Danny — just another Vineyard summer dink with a guitar and a melodic voice. Kootch and JT, the early incarnation of the Chilmark Potluck Jam.

Peter Asher, Sister Kate Reunite For Live Memoir Performance

When Peter Asher first heard Kate Taylor sing, he was instantly impressed. “I loved the texture of her voice and her phrasing, so I said, let’s make a record.”

Not one for idle chatter, Mr. Asher then produced her first record, Sister Kate. The year was 1971.

“She was even more of a soul singer devotee than James [Taylor] was,” Mr. Asher remembered. “He took after Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, but Kate was rocking out and blues-ing out much more overtly. I loved that she was a white soul singer.”

Jazz Summers on the Vineyard Too

On Monday John Lee stood in the Tabernacle, excitedly talking about the second annual Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival. It was the same place he first came up with the idea. He pointed to the front few rows. “I sat in these pews with my daughter and visualized having a festival,” he said.

At the time there was nothing on stage. He was simply sitting and dreaming.

The Decisive Rock and Roll Moment

After graduating from Whittier College in the 1960s, Guy Webster decided to join the army reserves for a six-month stint rather than go to Viet Nam. For the first three months he purchased, shipped and decorated Christmas trees. For the second half he taught photography, even though he had never even held a camera before that moment.

“I had never taken a photograph in my life,” remembered Mr. Webster. It wasn’t until his last month in the reserves that he shot his first roll of film. That was all it took to get him hooked.

Get Down With the Kosher Soul Sound

The Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven is about to rock. True, the center has been rocking intellectually, spiritually and culturally all summer long with their varied programming, but next weekend they will literally rock. The lineup includes Joshua Nelson and his Kosher Gospel Singers with special guest, Lisa Gutkin.

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