Authors Posts by Tony Omer

Tony Omer

Tony Omer

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Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival hit maker and instructor Clay Mills. – Photo courtesy Matt Casey

An upcoming concert at Flatbread Co. at the airport will showcase the songs of some of Nashville’s finest songwriters and artists this Saturday, Sept. 19, at 8 pm. The show, titled Behind the Curtain with Nashville Hit-Makers and Rising Stars,” is one night of a long weekend of events in concert with the third annual Martha’s Vineyard Songwriters Festival (MVSF) presented by New England to Nashville (NETN), a group founded in 2012 to support artists based in or connected to New England whose artistic efforts are focused on the Nashville music scene.

The group has grown to more than 100 songwriters, and sponsors workshops and performances for Nashville songwriters and artists throughout the year. According to a press release, over 50,000 artists and songwriters are trying to make it in Nashville, but there are less than 50 writers who have more than one song cut a year, and barely over 1,000 songs recorded a year by major labels. “Having all these hit writers and emerging artists who have navigated these harsh waters coming up North and sharing their songs and experiences is truly a unique opportunity for music fans,” said Matt Casey, founder of the festival.

This weekend’s Flatbread show will showcase MVSF lead instructors Clay Mills and Marty Dodson, who have penned hits for top contemporary country artists like Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Billy Currington, Diamond Rio, and Lady Antebellum. They will be joined by a number of emerging Nashville artists, many of whom are signed by major labels, including Josh Dorr, Jackie Lee, Annie Bosko, Lance Carpenter, Jilly Martin, Jackie Lee, Casey Derhak, Brent Harrison, Morgan Myles, Vanessa Bransan, and Elise Hayes. On Saturday night these artists will play original acoustic songs and then will be backed by a full band for covers of hit songs.

All aspiring songwriters are invited to attend the four-day Vineyard festival, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 17, and concludes Sunday, Sept. 20. The festival will feature workshops focusing on both the art and business of commercial songwriting.

Workshop attendees are also invited to a casual BBQ/Guitar Pull on Friday, Sept. 18, where they will have the opportunity to meet and interact with both established and emerging artists.

Emerging Nashville artist Annie Bosko. – Photo courtesy Matt Casey
Emerging Nashville artist Annie Bosko. – Photo courtesy Matt Casey

Prior to their visit to Martha’s Vineyard, the hit writers and emerging artists performed at Loretta’s Last Call in Boston on Wednesday. Jim McCormick, who wrote No. 1 songs for Brantley Gilbert and Jason Aldean, said, “I’m really excited to be a part of this event and to get to play with some of the most talented people I know. I think anyone who loves great music will enjoy these performances. You’ll get a glimpse at the future of Nashville, hear No. 1 hits and the stories behind them, and get a sneak preview of songs that you might hear on the radio a couple of years from now.”

A portion of the proceeds from the Martha’s Vineyard Songwriter’s Festival will be donated to two nonprofit organizations benefiting children: Alex’s Place at the YMCA (, which was created to provide safe, educational, and entertaining experiences for teens on Martha’s Vineyard; and the Alliance for Children Foundation (AFC;, a Massachusetts-based international relief organization devoted to improving the physical and emotional well-being of orphaned and at-risk children worldwide. The AFC was founded by West Tisbury resident Filis Casey.

All workshops will be at Alex’s Place at the Martha’s Vineyard YMCA, and musical performances will be held at various Island venues across the weekend.

“Behind the Curtain with Nashville Hit-Makers and Rising Stars” at Flatbread Co., Saturday, Sept. 19, 8 pm. Tickets are $20 for general admissions, $60 for VIP meet and greet. Tickets on sale now at For more information on the festival and a full schedule of the weekend’s events, visit

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Pianist Billy Childs and cellist Maksim Velichkin. Photo by Susan Safford

A mix of classical music and jazz informs much of this Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s 45th-anniversary summer concert series, and Monday night’s concert at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown was a wonderful mix-up of classical music, with Beethoven’s “Cello Sonata, Op. 5 No. 1” performed by the society’s artistic director and pianist Delores Stevens, accompanying virtuoso cellist Maksim Velichkin, and the freeform jazz piano work of Billy Childs, who was, in turn, accompanied by Mr. Velichkin.

The show was dedicated to Leslie J. Stark, a staunch supporter and society board member who passed away last week.

As the only artistic director the society has ever had, Ms. Stevens, a world-renowned concert pianist, brings a recognizable enthusiasm to both her choice of programs and to her playing, an enthusiasm that was easily matched by the emotionally charged work of Mr. Velichkin on cello.

Mr. Velichkin, a master of multiple instruments, is a big man who seemed to grow larger, dwarfing his instrument when he wrestled and cajoled big, forceful sounds, and alternately seemed to settle into a more moderate size when he gently caressed his instrument to bring out the fullness and the tenderness of the sonata. He carried those same magical performing qualities with him when he accompanied Mr. Childs in the second half of the program.

During the introductions, Ms. Stevens noted, as a segue to describing Mr. Childs’ work, that improvisation was an important part of Beethoven’s world in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a time reflected in the trompe l’oeil wall behind the performers and in the classic lines and acoustics of the 19th century Old Whaling Church.

Mr. Childs’ music was a collection of carefully crafted, inspiring pieces that incorporated the distinct improvisational antecedents of fellow jazz keyboardists Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and former fellow Windham Hill recording star George Winston. While it is not uncommon for musicians to bring emotional baggage to their performances, Mr. Childs seemed to bring the emotion without the baggage.

Mr. Childs played two songs written when his teenage sons were young boys and dedicated to them, and one piece that was inspired by the short poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams. Another, “Prelude in B flat major,” was inspired by Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier.”

A piece written by French jazz legend Michel Legrand, “This Is Jazz,” a late addition not on the program, was the only piece he played he did not compose.

The improvisational sections of the performance seemed to be as much fun for the audience as the performers as Mr. Velichkin and Mr. Childs mirrored, in turn, each other’s rhythms, progressions, melodies, and emotions, using the changes as starting points for improvisational flurries that took on the character of a one-on-one basketball contest, each trying to outdo the other in friendly combat. They even seemed to vie for the Most Sensitive award, which Mr. Velichkin appeared to win when he resorted to emotional vocalizations in the style of Keith Jarrett, after each had rapped out rhythms with their hands on their instruments.

Music can be like baking bread. The ingredients are inert for all practical purposes. Instruments are inert and sit silent, as do the musicians. The bread begins to take shape only after the ingredients are combined and the yeast is added. When baked, it grows and fills the pan; the aroma fills the room and floats, perhaps forever, outside on the air. Classical pianist Delores Stevens, jazz pianist Billy Childs, and cellist Maksim Velichkin joined forces and filled the room with a delicious mix of sounds. The music was fun and inspiring, and it is no doubt still alive, at least for the audience, still floating on the cool night air outside the huge open windows of the Old Whaling Church.

The concert was repeated at the Chilmark Community Center Tuesday evening.

The series continues on August 3 and 4, when the Infinity Brass Quartet will present a program made up primarily of contemporary music, including arrangements of Gershwin’s “Summertime” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose.”

The season will conclude with two somewhat more transitional sets of concerts, from the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio on August 10 and 11, and a group made up of famed clarinetist Franklin Cohen, his daughter pianist Diana Cohen, and pianist Roman Rabinovich on August 17.

Still just a fishmonger’s shop

The picture you wanted with the Larsen family - Beth Larsen, Louie Larsen, Travis Larsen (son) and Violette Larsen (4 years old) — Photo by Larisa Stinga

The Net Result fish market at the Tisbury Marketplace in Vineyard Haven celebrated its 30th birthday last week. It’s a popular destination for fresh fish, sushi, and takeout meals under patio umbrellas.

Co-owner with his wife Beth, Louis Larsen Jr. grew up fishing on his dad’s boat out of Menemsha and working in his dad’s Menemsha shop, Larsen’s Fish Market, a shop his sisters, Betsy Larsen and Kristine Scheffer, still run. Louie’s brother Dan owns Edgartown Seafood. Louie even ran the Menemsha shop for a few summers in the early 1970s.

Louie and his grade school friend Beth Renear, who grew up in Vineyard Haven, married after their college years, and opened the Net Result in 1985 at the business’s present location on Beach Road. After 30 years, they still work side by side, assisted by Jeffrey Maida, who Louie says has been both his left- and right-hand man for 29 of those 30 years.

What began as a relatively modest fish shop of about 500 square feet is now closer to 2,000 square feet, and employs 30 people in the summer. The Net Result is a year-round business, except for about a month mid-winter when they give the place a good, thorough cleaning. Louie, who still refers to himself as “just a fishmonger,” has expanded the business to one that sells not only fresh fish and lobster to a large walk-in clientele, but supplies seafood to many Island restaurants, and has a takeout menu that includes lobster, fish and crab cake sandwiches, chowder, salads, appetizers, food plates, hamburgers, and fresh made-to-order sushi.

The Net Result email provides daily updates about the daily special, and the weekly winner of the Net Result bumper sticker contest and a two-pound lobster prize.

The Net Result provides summer employment for a sizable group of college-aged kids including, over the years, the Larsens’ own three sons. Their son Andrew, 25, now works in the family business full-time.

“I grew up working with my father,” Louie told The Times last year. “It was great. Working with my son is awesome. I’m glad he’s here. You feel like you’re teaching somebody. He definitely has more patience than I do. When it’s your own child, you’re proud that he takes an interest in your job.”

To join the thousand or so who are already on The Net Result email list, or to order online for off-Island orders, go to, or call 508-693-6071.

A lean, green decade.

The Nelson Mechanical team, from left: Matt Rivers, Brian Nelson, Michael Oliveria, Megan Lizotte, David Sprague, Paul Vertefeuille, and Jay Bolduc. Not pictured: Colin Ouderkirk. Photo courtesy of Megan Lizotte

Ten years ago, after working for conventional plumbers and recognizing a need for a “green” mechanical contractor who could meet the energy efficiency and home-comfort needs of the Vineyard, Brian Nelson and David Sprague teamed up as Nelson Mechanical Design (NMD). They design and install just about anything to do with alternative heating and air conditioning systems, as well as traditional plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. They call themselves “green” mechanical contractors. Their work includes water treatment, geothermal systems, heat pump systems, fossil fuel systems, air conditioning, solar hot thermal, plumbing, well water drilling, water treatment, ventilation, and Internet-accessible control systems.

Longtime business manager Megan Lizotte of Edgartown said about 60 percent of their work is with sustainable “green systems” for both residential and commercial buildings.

Master plumber Brian Nelson has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master sheet-metal license, and is licensed by the EPA to handle refrigerants. He has lived on the Vineyard for 20 years, and resides in Vineyard Haven with his wife, five children, and three dogs. In the summer he can be found around the Island playing saxophone with his band Jelly Roll Horns.

David Sprague, an Island resident for about 15 years, is also a master plumber and master sheet-metal license holder, as well as an accredited geothermal installer, and a geothermal pipe fusion welder. He resides in West Tisbury with his four children, and is an avid fisherman.

Their residential work includes the design and installation of mechanical systems for the Vineyard’s first two LEED homes. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program.

Several of their projects have won national awards: They were awarded first prize in “Most Innovative Green Design” and second prize in “Best Residential Green Design” in the 2009 nationwide Green Mechanical Awards. Their solar hot water systems include the Island’s largest residential solar hot water system, utilizing 20 panels, and the Island’s first commercial solar hot water installation, at the Edgartown restaurant Atria.

In the commercial world, NMD has helped business owners save tens of thousands of dollars in reduced fuel use through energy efficiency projects, according to their website. They designed and installed the extensive green geothermal heat exchanger system at the Mansion House hotel in Vineyard Haven that makes it one of the “greenest” hotels in the Northeast.

For more information call 508-696-3120.

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The Vermont based hip hop group Lynguistic Civilians performs at the Lampost and MV Sound Fest this weekend. – Photo couresy Scott Lavalla

The Vermont-based hip-hop group Lynguistic Civilians are playing two nights in Oak Bluffs this weekend, at the Lampost Saturday and the Martha’s Vineyard Sound Fest outdoor event in Waban Park on Sunday.

Who knew Burlington, Vt., has a vibrant hip-hop community? The four primary members of this award-winning hip-hop group have been making music together since 2009, and were voted “Vermont’s Best Hip-Hop” by Seven Days VT magazine four years running.

Their style has been referred to as a hip-hop hybrid, mixing funk and soul to create a sound that is all their own. They are a focused group of individuals with a passion for hip-hop and entertainment.

They handle their own productions and write their own lyrics. Producer and MC for The Lynguistic Civilians Scott LaValla had this to say about coming to play on the Island: “It means a lot to us to be able to play the Martha’s Vineyard Sound Fest this year. Playing on Martha’s Vineyard is special all on its own. It’s a destination, and you feel accomplished before you even hit the stage. To come this year and be able to play outside is going to be something special. We are very excited to see Dwight & Nicole, Crooked Coast, and all the other amazing acts.”

The Lynguistic Civilians have an approach to making music that allows the talent of each member to flourish. Since their initial debut, group members Walshie Steeze, Mike Fulton, LC, and Mr. Burns have performed over 300 shows throughout New England. They have captivated crowds of all ages, and have shared the stage with some of hip-hop’s greats, including Chali 2na, Lil’ Kim, DJ Rob Swift, Nth Power, Break Science, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Camp Lo, Masta Ace and eMC.

They are a family of MCs and DJs who have three releases to their credit, a 2011 EP, “A Hard Act to Follow,” the 2013 full-length album “Better Late Than Never,” and a 2014 collaboration with the Mangroves, “Urban Priorities.”

The Lynguistic Civilians bring a upbeat and engaging live show that they think will convince you these crazy fools are supposed to be doing what they do. Catch them at the Lampost in Oak Bluffs on Saturday, July 11, and at the Martha’s Vineyard Sound Fest in Waban Park on Sunday, July 12.


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Singer-songwriter Kate Taylor performs two up-Island shows next week. – Photo courtesy Kate Taylor

Singer-songwriter Kate Taylor is a rare bird with a sweet voice, and when she takes flight she should not be missed. She is venturing out, but staying close to her up-Island home, for a two-night Island tour, Tuesday, July 14, at the Aquinnah town hall and the following day, Wednesday, at the West Tisbury Grange Hall, 1067 State Road, next to the West Tisbury town hall.

Ms. Taylor will bring her special brand of rock, country, rhythm and blues, Appalachian folk music, and a winning stage presence to these intimate settings.

She is a member of the family “Taylor,” genus “musicians,” species “female Taylor musicians.”

Like the rest of her family, Ms. Taylor gives an interpretive voice to her music that is both melodic and moving. She is the sister of musicians James, the Grammy award-winner; Livingston, a music teacher at the Berklee College of Music and a performer; Hugh, who owns the Outermost Inn in Aquinnah; and Alex, who is deceased. Her mother Trudy of Chilmark is a trained singer, and her daughter Aretha also knows how to charm with her voice.

James’ children (Kate’s niece and nephew) Sally and Ben Taylor are singer-songwriters in their own right. Ms. Taylor’s nephew Isaac, son of Alex, will be one of the special guests during her two-town show. He will sing a half-dozen of his own songs. “Isaac is a superb songwriter,” his aunt told The Times. The two will sing together as well.

When Kate performs, there is no telling who might jump on the stage to help out — whether from her family or from her large circle of talented musician friends.

Ms. Taylor first achieved recording success in the early ’70s with her debut album “Sister Kate.” She toured for a number of years, and produced two more records before settling into motherhood and now grandmotherhood on Martha’s Vineyard. She produced three albums in the new century, with the latest, “Fair Time!” coming out in 2009. The title track is a reference to the West Tisbury Agricultural Fair, and is a tribute to her Island friends.


Kate Taylor in concert with special guests including Isaac Taylor. Doors open at 7:30, show time at 8:00 pm both nights, Tuesday, July 14, at the Aquinnah town hall and the following day, Wednesday, July 15 at the West Tisbury Grange Hall. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at Alley’s or at


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The second annual music and arts festival prepares to take over Waban Park this weekend.

Dwight and Nicole performed at last year's show, and will perform again this year. – Photo by Shannon Rynd-Ray

Waban Park in Oak Bluffs is the site of a two-day festival of music, food, and art this Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, from 11 am until 10:30 pm. The second annual Martha’s Vineyard Sound Festival is billed as both a family event and a cutting-edge music happening, featuring a diverse musical lineup ranging from indie, rock, and folk to reggae and hip-hop. There are notable groups from off-Island, including the rocking Ryan Montbleau Band and the hip-hop group Lynguistic Civilians, as well as some of the Island’s best local talent, including Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish and the Mike Benjamin Band, among many others. There will be food booths, exhibits of art, and events for kids and families, with a focus on local food, home-grown talent, sustainability, and fun.

Event organizer, local musician, and producer Phil daRosa said last year’s inaugural event was a success, and he expects this year to be even better.

While strolling through the vendor booths, and snacking on delicious local food, Mr. daRosa said, visitors can watch visual artists and craftsmen, and also take advantage of a kids’ tent, which will providing fun games and activities throughout the day. A group of local artists will be on the scene, creating a collaborative painting inspired by the events of the weekend.

On Saturday, the Chilmark-based Martha’s Vineyard dance company the Yard will lead an interactive choreography session culminating in a performance between musical acts.

All ticket holders are welcome to attend “Yoga in the Park,” an outdoor yoga class with instructors from ONE Hot Yoga and an onsite DJ, from 10 to 11 am each morning.

Re-entry will be permitted, so that attendees can take advantage of the surrounding amenities, including the Oak Bluffs town beach, where one can go for a dip between sets.

Entertainment will continue beyond the main event at the park, with live music at satellite locations throughout downtown Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.

Good Night Louise, from left: Shawn Barber, Rob Myers, and Geordie Gude will play the festival again this year. – Photo by Geoffrey Parkhurst
Good Night Louise, from left: Shawn Barber, Rob Myers, and Geordie Gude will play the festival again this year. – Photo by Geoffrey Parkhurst

The full 2015 lineup, which Mr. daRosa said will also include “unnamed special guests,” includes Ryan Montbleau Band, the American roots-based Parkington Sisters from the Cape, Kenyatta Hill of Culture, Mieka Pauley, Dwight & Nicole, Dana Williams, Caroline Sky, Mike Benjamin Band, Will Dailey, Island Thunder Band, Charlotte Benjamin, Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, Hitch & the Giddyup, Beninghof Walton, Alex Karalekas, the soulful stylings of Vineyard native Sabrina & the Groovers, Nate D’Angelo, Jason Nichols, the Jemima James Band with Rose Guerin, Crooked Coast, Good Night Louise, the Lynguistic Civilians, Black Brook Singers, and the Chandler Blues Band. DJs WEP, Ras Toe, and AP will spin between artists’ sets.

“The focus is on local,” Mr. daRosa said, “local restaurants, farmers, artisans, shop owners, nonprofit organizations, musicians, and visual artists are all contributing to the festivities.”

Mr. daRosa said in a press release that Martha’s Vineyard Sound is working toward becoming a zero-waste event. This year, festivalgoers will find free water refills available to anyone who brings their own vessel, as well as compost and recycling containers throughout the grounds. Martha’s Vineyard Sound is also teaming up with Preserver Products, a B-Corporation that will provide reusable recycled #5 polypropylene dishware and utensils, available at most food vendor booths. Vendors will provide information about the sourcing of their local produce and sustainable materials.

Martha’s Vineyard Sound is partnering with three local nonprofit organizations for ticket sales: Island Grown Initiative, the Yard, and the Martha’s Vineyard Skatepark (through the Green Room on Main Street, Vineyard Haven). Stop into one of their physical locations to pick up your tickets, and $5 from each ticket purchased will go back to the organization.

A portion of the proceeds from Martha’s Vineyard Sound will help kickstart the Island Collaborative, an Island nonprofit that will support sustainable projects on Martha’s Vineyard. Island Collaborative was created to facilitate collaboration between Island civic organizations, local government, schools, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals, to accomplish projects Islanders want and need. Visit for more information.


Advance ticket prices: single day, Saturday or Sunday, $35, weekend pass $60, all-access passes $100/$150. Parking is available at the Oak Bluffs School. Purchase tickets online at For detailed info and an event schedule, visit


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Island resident and comedian Lenny Clarke will perform this Sunday night at the Lampost. – Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Island resident and comedian Lenny Clarke will perform this Sunday night at the Lampost. – Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Comedian Lenny Clarke and his “crazy train of comedy” make a stop at the Lampost in Oak Bluffs for one night only, this Sunday, July 5. “Crazy train” is a term late-night host Jimmy Fallon used to describe Mr. Clarke when they worked together on the 2005 movie “Fever Pitch.

A Cambridge native and longtime New England headliner, Mr. Clarke will bring his distinctive, heavy Boston accent and over 30 years of comedic experience all the way from Chilmark, which he now calls home. It is rumored that he will work a few Vineyard jokes into his routine.

“I only leave so I can make money to live here,” he told The Times. He said he bought a house in Chilmark about 18 years ago because he wasn’t allowed on Lucy Vincent Beach. He said he knows he is still just a wash-ashore.

Mr. Clarke has appeared in more than two dozen films and almost as many television shows. He got his start during the heyday of Boston comedy in the early Eighties, befriending and working with comedians like Steven Wright and Denis Leary. He wrote and starred in a local TV show, Lenny’s Late Show. His most recent TV gigs have been as Uncle Teddy on Mr. Leary’s FX channel series, Rescue Me, and as Melvin Newman in NBC’s Are You There, Chelsea?, based loosely on a book by Chelsea Handler.

This weekend’s show at the Lampost came about after a coincidental run-in at Cronig’s. Jamie Hayes, co-owner of the Lampost, bumped into Mr. Clarke at the market not too long after Mr. Hayes and his wife were unable to get into one of Mr. Clarke’s sold-out Island shows last year. After Mr. Hayes related his disappointment, and mentioned he owned the Lampost, Mr. Clarke agreed to bring his act to the Circuit Avenue nightspot.

The show will also include the legendary Boston-based comedian Tony V. Mr. V started his standup comedy career in 1983. A mental health caseworker with a B.S. in psychology, his career was sidetracked when the comedy train smacked him, at full throttle, right between the eyes. His streetwise humor and genuine feel for the human condition quickly propelled him to headline status on the national comedy club circuit. Tony’s television credits include “Seinfeld,” “INK,” “The Single Guy,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and “Rescue Me.”

Another one of Boston’s premier comedians, and host of NESN’s “Dirty Water TV,” Dave Russo, will also perform. As co-host of “Dirty Water TV,” Mr. Russo produces a regular comedy series in addition to reporting on the best of Boston nightlife. He has appeared on “The Today Show,” and was hand-selected by the producer of “Last Comic Standing” to perform on NESN’s Comedy All-Stars. Dave was recently featured on’s “Boston, A Comedy Capital.”

Mr. Clarke, who is subject to moviemaking schedule changes, also has plans for a Labor Day show.


Lenny Clarke and Friends, the “crazy train of comedy,” Sunday July 5, at the Lampost, Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs. Tickets are available at the Lampost; advance tickets are $30. Seating is general admission. Doors open at 7:15 pm for 8 pm show.


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The Woody Pines kick off the opening night at Flatbread in Edgartown on June 15. – Photo courtesy of Facebook

Updated 4 pm, Thursday, June 11.

The pizza oven at Flatbread’s on Airport Road in Edgartown will be stoked once again, for the first time this season, when the natural-ingredient pizzeria reopens for the summer on Monday, June 15. The first day will be capped off at 10 pm with the music of the popular Island regulars, the American roots-music and Nashville-based band Woody Pines, along with the sounds of Mike Benjamin. Woody Pines features the fabulously talented guitarist and backup singer Brad Tucker, who grew up on the Vineyard, and the group will be celebrating the release of their new self-titled CD.

The blues, rock, and gospel duo Dwight and Nicole will perform at Flatbread on Friday June 19. – Photo courtesy of Facebook
The blues, rock, and gospel duo Dwight and Nicole will perform at Flatbread on Friday June 19. – Photo courtesy of Facebook

The show is produced by Phil Darosa’s TPS Productions as part of the Martha’ Vineyard Sound series, and the group plans to book more music on the Flatbread concert stage throughout the summer. Already scheduled are Dwight and Nicole and Good Night Louise on Friday, June 19, at 10 pm, and Donavon Frankenreiter on Monday, August 10, at 9 pm.

To complement the good music, Flatbread will continue serving its tried-and-true menu of pizza and salads for takeout or eat-in, according to new manager Paul Cucchiarelli. This year they’ll also be open for lunch for the first time; the kitchen will open at noon, and remain open until 10 pm.

In January the owners of Flatbread, headquartered in New Hampshire, put their part of the building that once housed Hot Tin Roof up for sale, telling The Times that it was difficult to survive on only the summer months and that they found the shoulder seasons especially difficult to manage. The owners share the building with M.V. Wine and Spirits, and despite opening for the summer, their ownership in the building is still up for sale.
Regional manager Jim Harrison told The Times this week that they have decided to give the Vineyard another shot. “We love the Vineyard, and would really like to find a way to make it work,” he said.

The restaurant will continue its tradition of hosting Tuesday-night fundraisers for local organizations. The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve and expand the Island’s shellfisheries, will be the season’s first beneficiary on Tuesday, June 16, and Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center in West Tisbury will be the focus on June 23. On Tuesday, June 30, the restaurant will show support for the the Beatrice Bennett Great Aspirations Memorial Scholarship fund (BBGAMS). The night will include a silent auction, and 10 percent of the price of every pizza purchased will be donated directly to the scholarship fund, which will then be granted as scholarships to graduates of the Regional High School (MVRHS) and The Charter School.

Another Flatbread tradition returns, the Backyard Boogie, featuring local musicians, on Sunday nights from 6 to 8 pm. Mr. Cucchiarelli said the Island-based group Good Night Louise will be playing a number of the Sunday boogies. Also returning this year is the YMCA’s annual Stars & Stripes Festival on Friday, July 3, which will celebrate the organization’s fifth anniversary and will feature the Walk The Moon, Alex Winston, and Santah.

And the ever popular Dance-a-Rama hosted by Mona Rosenthal will keep children, parents, and grandparents on their feet, come two dates in July and two in August to be announced.

Flatbread, open noon to 10 pm seven days a week, serving pizza and salads with a full bar. The doors open for the evening concerts at 9 pm, with most shows starting at 10 pm. The evening shows are 21-plus unless otherwise noted. Admission for the Woody Pines show on Monday, June 15, is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

A previous version of this story neglected to mention the band — Walk the Moon— headlining at Flatbread on Friday, July 3 for the YMC’A’s annual Stars & Stripes Festival.

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Having rejected the budget at the ballot box last month, voters Tuesday agreed to a pared down school budget.

West Tisbury town moderator Dan Waters, flanked by (l-r) selectmen Jeffrey "Skipper" Manter and Richard Knabel and town counsel Ron Rappaport, presided over a special town meeting Tuesday called to fund the school budget. photo by Tony Omer.

West Tisbury voters passed the town’s $6.8 million share of the Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD) budget at special town meeting Tuesday night with one dissenting vote.

Voters unanimously agreed to take no action on the only other article on the warrant, a request to withdraw from the school district, which includes Aquinnah and Chilmark.

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7 pm. However, the required quorum of 124 voters was not present. A quick round of cellphone calls made by townspeople to friends, neighbors and relatives roused up enough voters — some leaving unfinished dinner on their plates —  and moderator Dan Waters called the meeting to order at 7:23 pm.

Applause greeted the late-comers as they entered the gym at the West Tisbury School, prompting one West Tisbury wag, Paul Garcia, to comment, “Showing up late is a way to get popular in this town.”

The budget article was amended on the floor. UIRSD board chairman Michael Marcus asked that a little more than $605.89 in adjustments be added to the budget figure. He didn’t say why and was not asked. The amendment passed unanimously.

Prior to the vote to take no action to withdraw from the school district, selectman Richard Knabel some background on the article. He said selectmen had proposed the measure because of what many consider to be unnecessary costs for the town, but they were now recommending that no action be taken on the article until a future date when the implications of the separation could be better understood.

In April, voters passed the school budget at annual town meeting but rejected a proposition 2.5 override request at the ballot box. School committee members went to work and trimmed $300,000 bringing the budget under the prop. 2.5 limit.

Mr. Marcus struck an apologetic tone with regard to the budget impasse that resulted in the need for a special town meeting. “The committee will be immediately ramping up its review of the fiscal year 2017 budget to try to get firmly ahead of the process for next year,” he said. “I will be working with my colleagues to avoid this type of outcome next year.”

A rousing round of applause followed Mr. Marcus’s acknowledgement of the eight years of service of retiring board member Dan Cabot.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Jim Weiss for his many, many years of supremely dedicated and tireless service to the entire Island community, for all that he has delivered to foster and further excellence in education on Martha’s Vineyard,” Mr. Marcus said spurring a standing ovation for the superintendent of schools who will retire at the end of this month.

There was a unanimous vote to adjourn the meeting at 7:33 pm.