Vineyard Inside Out: A Community of Song Stays In Tune With Island Way of Life

Except for the baroque chirping from the rafters, the Tabernacle is empty and quiet enough to make one want to whisper. It is 40 minutes before the Island Community Chorus begins to rehearse for its July 6 summer concert. Music director Peter Boak arrives carrying a collapsible stepstool and music stand. He climbs to the stage to arrange and consider.

Spirituals Choir

Jim Thomas and his Spirituals Choir will perform on Saturday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre on Spring street in Vineyard Haven. The choir is in its ninth year and is the offspring of the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP. The performance is titled, Songs From the Field: The Underground Railroad.

The choir performs at many venues around the Island and is made up of summer residents and year-rounders. They perform sitting down as the slaves did, and only with percussion accompaniment.

Laying Down the Summer Soundtrack: Where to Go for Live Music on the Vineyard

If you’re looking for live music, you’ve come to the right Island. Martha’s Vineyard features a diverse selection of music venues, from dives to dancehalls and everything in between. If it’s local musicians you want to hear, check out some of the watering holes in Edgartown or Oak Bluffs. For big-name bands, visit Dreamland in Oak Bluffs or Flatbread at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport.

Barrington Levy Packs a Punch at Dreamland

“When I say Barrington, you say Levy!” shouted a man onstage wearing gold-framed sunglasses. “Barrington!”

“Levy!” the crowd roared back at him.

The chant continued, ultimately dissolving into raucous cheering as Barrington Levy, reggae revolutionary, took the stage at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs on Friday night.

Deer Tick Is Viral on the Vineyard

The stage at Flatbread was packed with instruments on Monday night and the dance floor filled with fans standing shoulder to shoulder. Deer Tick, an alternative rock band from Providence, R.I., was back in town after a two-year hiatus.

The band jumped feet-first into their set. Their style is shamelessly and classically authentic. The vintage whirl of a Hammond B-3 organ blended beautifully with a pair of rancorous guitars.

Island Family Makes It Big as Family of the Year

Sebastian Keefe’s favorite job, possibly ever, was working at Poole’s Fish Market in Menemsha. But being a rockstar isn’t a bad second.

Last Tuesday, West Tisbury natives Sebastian and his brother Joe Keefe made their first late night show appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with their band Family of the Year. On Thursday, the band performs on Conan on TBS at 11 p.m.

Martin Sexton to Perform at Dreamland

Earlier this summer, Dreamland in Oak Bluffs opened up as a large venue music space. The new club has been very active, hosting numerous local bands throughout the summer, a CD release party for Ben Taylor and a DJ night featuring Questlove of The Roots.

And now on Friday, August 31, Dreamland hosts Martin Sexton.

Jazz Festival Returns With Healing, Hopping Rhythms

Dr. Kenneth Alleyne, 46, and his wife, Dr. Shaun Biggers-Alleyne, love jazz. They also love Martha’s Vineyard. So they began brainstorming a way to combine these seemingly disparate passions. The result was Jazz on the Vineyard, a daylong jazz festival now in its second year, which will be held tomorrow, August 18, at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs.

Ms. Michelson’s Eclectic Musical Medley

Just two more Monday Night Specials left for the summer season. These works-in-progress events are hosted by the Vineyard Playhouse and take place at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven. Last week featured plays by Robert Brustein and starred Tony Shalhoub and Brooke Adams in the reading. Earlier in the summer Joyce Carol Oates took the stage for a question and answer session following the reading of her new play Emily & Joyce.

Ellis Paul Plays the YMCA

The YMCA is harkening back to some distinct Island musical roots by opening the Wintertide Collective, a black box-styled performance and dance space. The name Wintertide is a name many Islanders remember fondly. The Wintertide Coffeehouse was a mainstray of the Vineyard music scene for many years. The YMCA’s teen program director, Tony Lombardi managed the Wintertide Coffeehouse and now he has resurrected the name for the YMCA as he continues to help teenagers find constructive outlets.

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