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

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.

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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.

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

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.

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Barrington Levy Packs a Punch at Dreamland
Nicholas Bradley

“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.

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Deer Tick Is Viral on the Vineyard
Nicholas Bradley

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.

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Island Family Makes It Big as Family of the Year
Remy Tumin

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.

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American Idol Star Returns to Island

Last year Erika Van Pelt made it to the top ten on American Idol. This meant in addition to an incredible run on national television for one of the singers of Martha’s Vineyard’s own Sultans of Swing, she spent the summer touring the country with the rest of the idols. Tonight she returns to the Vineyard to sing with her old bandmates at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs.

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Jonathan Edwards to Play at Tabernacle

Country and folk singer Jonathan Edwards first made a name for himself in 1971 with his protest song Sunshine, released on his debut album. Now, after a long musical career, Mr. Edwards will perform songs from his latest release, My Love Will Keep, when he appears at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs on Thursday, Sept. 6.

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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.

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Ape Woman Rock Opera
On Wednesday, August 29 and Thursday, August 30, the folks at the Pit Stop in Oak Bluffs are hosting The Ape Woman Rock Opera. For those not up on their 19th century oddities, the Ape Woman was Julia Pastrana, an indigenous Mexican woman born in 1834, who suffered from hypertrichosis terminalis; her face and body were covered with black hair.
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