If you thought the Yard in Chilmark was just a dance venue, think again; there’s also some great live music going on this summer. In the past, the Yard hosted Island-based bands such as Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish as well as Kahoots, Arlen Roth, and Lexie Roth among many others. And from off-Island in recent years there have been Arturo O’Farrill, Tanya Tagaq, Flor de Toloache, Azro Cady, and Dick Connette.
The difference this year is that the Yard has formalized the performances into an official “Music Nights” series in order to help the community follow it more easily. As executive director, co-producer Alison Manning says, “The Yard hosts theater, music, yoga, dance, puppetry, and general performance artists, and folks are often surprised we are not just a dance organization.”
Upcoming on August 6 will be native Islander Isaac Taylor, playing at the Yard for the first time. He’ll be performing works from his debut album, “Peace in the Valley,” as well as some tunes he loves. “We are excited to have him here sharing his music with the Vineyard community this year,” Manning says. “Isaac’s soulful singer-songwriter sound is entirely unique, and something folks should not miss.”
And you don’t have to be a professional performer to dance at the Yard. On August 27 you can boogie to DJ Christopher spinning vinyl on his well-worn Technics turntables to mashups of Tributaries — a mix of artists who have passed and the contemporary artists who have been inspired by them. “This is DJ Christopher’s second appearance at the Yard,” Manning explains. “He will turn up the heat in our theater with our end-of-summer-season dance party. Folks will definitely want to bring their best grooving shoes with them.
“This summer season’s artists are friends of mine, and musicians and DJs who live here on the Island. Our hope is to continue to program nights highlighting artists in the community here and off-Island both, as we move into the future, and to use our up-Island venue as a place for people to gather for all different kinds of performance art.”
Isaac Taylor performs August 6, and DJ Christopher on August 27, starting at 7 pm, at the Yard. For tickets and information, go to dancetheyard.org/music.