Music in the air

The Island offers lots of great local musical talent to enjoy this spring.

Spring is in the air, and so are the dulcet sounds of music being played on the Vineyard. There is an eclectic mix and something for everyone.

Try the Ukulele Jam on alternate Thursdays, March 21, April 4 and 18, for something a little funky at the West Tisbury library, which is free like all the library programs. The Ukulele Jam is a group of musicians who like to make music, sing, and have a great time. They formed over 10 years ago with anywhere from eight to 30 players participating, and all ages and abilities are warmly welcomed. Brief instruction is provided, and the library has ukuleles to borrow, or bring your guitar or banjo.

The West Tisbury library will also offer its Second Sunday Jazz concerts that began in 2018. These hugely popular monthly performances feature local and guest musicians. New and regulars flock to these concerts, which are always both lively and relaxed. Also at the West Tisbury library will be Julian Loida on March 20 at 4:30 pm. As a percussionist, composer, and producer, Loida’s musical curiosity and open-mindedness have propelled him towards a wide range of sounds, genres, and artistic endeavors. He’s performed jazz, folk, and classical, collaborating with dancers, visual artists, songwriters/composers, and musicians of all stripes. For Loida, music is a full-body experience, with sounds often invoking involuntary sensations of color, texture, or even taste.

Broadway will come calling from March 22 through 24 at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse with the 10th-anniversary celebration of the Wicked Good Musical Revue. The tradition began with then-musical director Molly Conole and three or four singers casually getting together to sing Broadway tunes during the off-season in the Playhouse. It evolved into more elaborate, fully staged, and choreographed performances as the years went on. All of the regular singers that have been involved over the years will be performing. “We’ve reached back in the archives,” says musical director David Behnke. “It will be many of the favorite things that each of us have done. It’s been great pulling everyone back together for a real celebration.” (For tickets and times, visit

Get ready for the Jon Bates Band at the end of March. They will appear from 8 to 10 pm both at the Portuguese American Club on March 22 and The Ritz on March 23, entertaining the crowd with classic blues, rock, and soul. They will then be up-Island on March 24, 2:30 pm at the West Tisbury library, with two vocalists, Steve Riddick and Debbie Major, singing jazz standards, American ballads, and selections from the American songbook.

Music Street group will also perform at the West Tisbury library on March 30, 4 pm. The awardwinning graduates of Boston’s New England Conservatory instrumentalists and vocalists delight in bringing colorful themed programs filled with lively historical and musical narration to create a stimulating context for their events. At the same time, renowned Vineyard pianist Jeremy Berlin and guitarist and singer Delanie Pickering will perform jazz standards and more for free at the Edgartown library on March 30 from 3 to 4 pm.

As we roll into April, the Island Community Chorus (ICC) will delight us with their spring concerts on Friday, April 5, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, April 6, at 3 pm at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. Founded in 1996, ICC is made up of some 80 singers and is recognized as a cultural treasure on the Vineyard. The program will feature Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” (RV 589), performed with a chamber orchestra. The Gloria was probably composed around 1715 in Venice. It is an exuberant and uplifting 12-movement work, and since its rediscovery and revival in the 1930s, it has become one of the most beloved works of choral literature. The concert will also feature the world premiere performance of music director William Peek’s cantata “Soon It Is Day.” This three-movement work for chorus and piano was completed in 2020. Its texts are drawn from the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay and James Agee. A $20 donation is requested of adults; student admission is free.