“What do you do here in the winter?” – It’s a question that almost every year-round resident has been asked by a wide eyed tourist in the height of August business. The answer on the tip of the tongue for me is, “Enjoy the peace and quiet” but that’s not to say that there is nothing to do! Open the calendar section of the MV Times and you will be amazed at the number and variety of events we have to choose from on any given week – Salsa Classes anyone? A Moonrise Meander thru Felix Neck Sanctuary? Movie nights, book clubs, fundraisers and pot luck suppers abound but the thing that amazes many winter visitors is the abundance of live music on the Vineyard in the dead of winter.
It will amaze most of you to know that, even in January, you can hear live music at least 5 nights a week on Martha’s Vineyard! OK, on some nights there may be just one option, not the multiple choices of August but what we lack in quantity we certainly make up for in quality – most of those summer favorites are year round Vineyarders, strumming and crooning all winter long.
Let’s start the week on Tuesday (Sunday and Monday seem to be musician ‘weekend’ on MV), with jazz at Offshore Ale in Oak Bluffs. Join well known Island favorites Eric Johnson and Jeremy Berlin for a set as smooth as the beers they accompany.
Return to Offshore on Wednesday night for Irish music – always a well attended and fun evening in this cozy atmosphere.
Thursday night takes us to Season Pub in Oak Bluffs for a night with the Mike Benjamin Band. If you have been at the Colonial Inn on a Thursday evening in summer, you will be familiar with Mike and his crew. They can really get the crowd hopping with their mix of covers from across the musical spectrum.
The latest addition to the ‘scene’ is Friday nights ‘In the Window’ at the Wharf pub in Edgartown with local favorites Don Groover and Kevin Keady. With Kevin’s gravelly vocals and Don’s amazing guitar skills, you could easily think you had been transported to a smoky club in a big city, not quiet little Edgartown in January!
On Saturdays the Ritz Café in OB has live music from a variety of Island musicians throughout the winter. They really liven up the sleepy winter months for us!
This selection is just the tip of the musical iceberg and doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the special events, fundraisers and the like that have their musical accompaniment on any given week.
So, do you still think there’s nothing to do on Martha’s Vineyard in winter?
Do you have a favorite Island artist? Who are your ‘must hear’ musicians? What is your favorite music venue on the Vineyard?
Photo Credit: vl8189
Great article Joanne! I'm motivated to venture out in the cold and check some of them out :) My favorite has always been Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish...They always get the crowd rockin' !