The Martha’s Vineyard Summer Concert Series returns this summer, beginning on July 9 with David Bromberg and running through August 21 when Black Violin closes out the series. From reggae to R&B and country, founder Adam Epstein has included artists of all genres in the lineup. The goal? For concert-goers to embrace the feel-good power of music.

“It’s that feeling of being in a room with a band you love and feeling that music course through you,” Mr. Epstein said. “Everybody’s experience is different, but it lets you be free from a daily worry.”

Deer Tick performs July 25 at the Lampost. — courtesy MV Concert Series

Mr. Epstein began the series three years ago, with each summer building upon the last. Mavis Staples leads a long list of musical acts that includes the Cowboy Junkies, Patty Griffin, the Mavericks, Deer Tick and Keb’ Mo, to name a few. But the series isn’t limited to music.

“The audience here loves literature,” Mr. Epstein said. “They love intelligent entertainment.”

With this in mind, Mr. Epstein incorporates a variety of speakers into the series, including author and NPR contributor David Sedaris, who will perform two shows on August 8 and 9 at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. 

The Old Whaling Church is one of three different venues that will host the series this summer. Many acts will perform at the Martha’s Vineyard Preforming Arts Center, with Deer Tick taking the stage at the Lampost.

Mr. Epstein’s production company is based in Chicago but he works on-Island during the summer with a staff of four people to ensure each show goes off without a hitch.

“It’s a community effort, and we’re working very, very hard to find and build the best team here that can help us,” Mr. Epstein said. “It’s the little things that make a big difference to people.”

Cowboy Junkies plays on July 19. — courtesy MV Concert Series

Those community ties include a partnership with WMVY this year, with revenue from three of the shows supporting the station. 

“Tom Rush, Tall Heights and Ryan Montbleau, and Mavis Staples’ events will all benefit MVY,” Mr. Epstein said. “We love working with them. The music they play really matches what we like.”

Mavis Staples plays the PAC on August 14. It’s a busy and varied week with Toots & the Maytals playing on August 13, Audra McDonald performing on August 18 and Paula Poundstone on August 19, all at the same venue.

“We’re developing a better sense and understanding of what music people are looking for with every show we do,” Mr. Epstein said.

Musical preferences aside, Mr. Epstein says he wants the series to give audiences enough choice for live entertainment on the Vineyard.

“I just want them to have an option for something fun,” he said. “It could be enlightening in one way. I thoroughly love being able to stand outside of the theatre and watch as people leave with a smile.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Summer Concert Series runs July 9 through August 21. For tickets visit