The celebrated 1970s Island trio TCD will play again Oct. 6 at Grange Hall, when the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation presents original band member Charlie Esposito with its 39th annual Creative Living Award.

A producer, production manager and technical educator as well as a versatile musician, Mr. Esposito has been the director of the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center since 2008, and a key part of the Vineyard music scene for the past half-century and more.

“Charlie has produced records for others, been in avant-garde bands of his own for 50 years … and has been at the helm of the PAC for the last several years, always gracious, uncomplaining and out of the limelight,” said Island musician Jeremy Berlin, who nominated Mr. Esposito for the award.

Mr. Berlin also noted Mr. Esposito’s stint as chef and manager at the Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven, where he introduced Chinese and other ethnic food nights that drew throngs of Islanders to the restaurant.

“It was such a gathering spot in the winters, particularly in the early 80s and onwards,” said community foundation director Emily Bramhall.

Mr. Esposito also helped write the original Black Dog cookbook, said Ms. Bramhall, who described him as resourceful, creative and one of the Island’s unsung heroes.

“He’s got this breadth of things that he’s done and things that he’s created and lives that he’s lived here that really spoke to us,” she told the Gazette.

A former art school student from New York, Mr. Esposito arrived on the Vineyard at the end of the 1960s with fellow musicians Timothy Maxwell and Duane Spencer. Performing as Mr. Timothy Charles Duane, the friends played acoustic music with vocal harmonies at places like the Wintertide Coffeehouse and the Katharine Cornell Theatre, Ms. Bramhall said.

Later, she said, at the invitation of Seaview owner Loretta Balla, they rocked-out their style for the Oak Bluffs dive bar, won new fans and began playing as TCD.

Mr. Esposito also became involved in music engineering and production, setting up a studio at the Educomp building in Vineyard Haven where he recorded albums for Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, Entrain and Die Kunst der Drum, among other groups, said Ms. Bramhall.

At the same time, he was still managing the Black Dog, she said, and was beating a trail between the two buildings as he kept both operations running. Celebrities such as Walter Cronkite, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Diane Rehm also came to Mr. Esposito’s studio, which he upgraded in the 1990s to accommodate live broadcasting, Ms. Bramhall said.

At the performing arts center, Mr. Esposito teaches lighting, music, recording, staging and production to Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students, some of whom have gone on to professional careers in sound and production, according to the community foundation.

“He mentored so many kids at the high school,” Ms. Bramhall said.

During school musicals, he’s likely to be playing keyboard with the orchestra. At last week’s Tisbury special town meeting in the PAC, Mr. Esposito played classic recordings by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane in the background as voters arrived.

In the background is often where you’ll find him as well, Ms. Bramhall said.

“Your job is to not be seen. That’s the sign of a good producer,” she added.

The community foundation had plenty of nominations to sift this year, Ms. Bramhall said.

“We had … some really worthy, fabulous nominations, some of which I’m sure you’ll see in future years,” she said.

But Mr. Esposito’s long and versatile history of contributions to Island arts put him over the top for 2022, Ms. Bramhall said.

“We’re thrilled to be able to recognize him [and] just all the different talents that he brought,” she said. “He’s been doing a great job for a long time.”

The Creative Living Award ceremony for Charlie Esposito will be held on Oct. 6 at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury, starting at 5:15 p.m., followed by the TCD concert.