Many Vineyarders believe that, among the many things that make the Island special, a tremendous amount of talent emerges here from generation to generation. Musicians such as Ben Taylor, Willy Mason, Evan Dando, for instance, who began performing as youngsters on the Island, have gone on to national and international prominence.
Islanders who were open-minded enough to attend performances by of these folks when they were cutting their performing teeth now look back and can say they were there at the beginning.
On Saturday night, Oct. 20, Alex’s Place at the YMCA held the first in a series of concerts in The Base Collective. The series is entitled “We Are The New Generation” and the first event featured up and coming teen performers from all corners of the Vineyard. Six different configurations took the stage in front of a healthy-sized all-ages audience and showcased their talents.
Performers included singer/songwriter Nate D’Angelo, who has been crafting his style and working to record his first musical compositions; Maddie Scott, a powerhouse drummer who has re-awakened the drum solo as a viable stand-alone performance; Darby Patterson, whose strong vocal styling belied her young age; new band I Killed Cupid featuring Maddie Scott, Luke Sudarsky, Jon Davenport, and Charlie Termini, whose premiere performance gave credence to their growing abilities; spoken word artist Tyler Paulson who energized the evening with original poetry and a tight impromptu rap-style performance accompanied by Zion Morris; Alistair Morgan and Friends, which featured Alistair, Zion Morris, and Oscar Hansen who performed tight instrumentals reminiscent of Hendrix and Santana. Tessa Whitaker wrapped up the evening with her debut performance of original and cover material with grace and style, exemplifying the mission to inspire teens to try their hand at performance.
One of the goals of these performances is to identify the new generation of artists and engage them in a new program being offered by Alex’s Place entitled The Adrenaline Music Project. The project will take talented artists and bring them together to collaborate, learn the art of performance, stage presence, promotion and marketing, and ultimately recording and performance. The Adrenaline Music Project will begin in November and run for 12 weeks.
Alex’s Place and the Base Collective at the YMCA are for Island teens ages 13 to 18. Funded by the Alexandra Gagnon Foundation, Comcast, and many other community members, Alex’s Place is now in its 10th month of operation in its new permanent facility located at the YMCA of M.V. For more information please visit alexsplace.net.