Music

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Lauryn Hill performs Sunday at Featherstone. — Karl Ferguson Jr.

Some of the “first ladies” of the music world will heat up the apex of the Vineyard season this weekend when the second annual Martha’s Vineyard Summer Madness festival rolls out its Ladies First lineup.

Headliner Lauryn Hill, five-time Grammy award winner and former member of The Fugees, will perform an outdoor concert at Featherstone on Sunday, topping off an exciting weekend packed with concerts, parties, artist showcases, and an educational panel, all starring female music makers and movers and shakers.

The three-day festival kicks off with a live jazz reception followed by a mixed performance  show at Dreamland featuring a performance by hip hop legend MC Lyte along with entertainment by an acclaimed spoken word performer and music from one of NYC’s top DJs. Throughout the weekend, artists — both emerging and established — will perform a range of music from jazz to soul to R&B to hip-hop. The majority of events take place at Flatbread Company at the M.V. Airport.

The festival is the brainchild of summer resident Sean Porter, a concert promoter, TV producer, and former nightclub owner whose Brooklyn-based club hosted parties for some of the biggest names in hip hop and R&B including P Diddy, LL Cool J, Kanye West, Ice T, and Lil’ Kim. Last year, Mr. Porter recruited Norman Hall, financial expert and entrepreneur who is a year-round Islander, to the festival team. The two men, longtime friends, are joined by a team of part-time Vineyarders and others in organizing and producing the M.V. Summer Madness Festival.

Last year’s inaugural event featured a performance by headliner Big Daddy Kane, who played to a sold-out audience at Dreamland. This year, the organizers decided to honor women in music, taking the theme’s name “Ladies First” from a groundbreaking hip hop song recorded by Queen Latifah in 1989.

Among the events this year will be a chicken and waffles brunch featuring jazz artist and TV and movie actress Suzzanne Douglas, an R&B showcase with Grammy nominee Amel Larrieux, a new artist showcase, and a beach BBQ bash to take place between Inkwell Beach and Waban Park.

Private VIP parties follow the Friday and Saturday evening performances.

Billed as a music festival and conference, the M.V. Summer Madness schedule also features a panel discussion with some of the heavyweights (all women) in the music industry including entertainment managers, attorneys, executives, and performer/entrepreneurs.

A variety of festival packages are available. Individual tickets can also be purchased for any of the events.

For more information, and a full event schedule, visit mvsummermadness.com.

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Elwood (left, played by Kieron Lafferty) and Jake (Wayne Catania) perform a benefit for the Martha's Vineyard Playhouse on Tuesday. — Michael Eudenbach

A contemporary incarnation of the Saturday Night Live musical duo that closed out the 70s with the hit motion picture “The Blues Brothers” is coming to the Vineyard for a benefit performance at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown on August 12.

Presented by original Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd and Judith Belushi Pisano, the wife of the late John Belushi, the other original Blues Brother, and sponsored by the Harbor View Hotel, the evening’s proceeds will support the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.

The Official Blues Brothers Revue showcases Wayne Catania as Jake, and Kieron Lafferty as Elwood, Toronto entertainers handpicked by Mr. Aykroyd and Ms. Pisano for their musicality, stage charisma, and devotion to the phenomenon that is the Blues Brothers. Having a Canadian accent is especially helpful for Mr. Lafferty, as it provides an essential ingredient to the signature phonetics of Elwood’s voice.

“Dan told me that Elwood was a combination of influences,” said Mr. Lafferty, “one of them being ‘King Biscuit Boy’ a.k.a. Richard Newell, a Canadian blues legend who talked in a chopped up manner — he added the Chicago accent to that cadence.”

Though he and Mr. Catania will dish out plenty of blues music, Mr. Lafferty says that he doesn’t believe the enthusiasm of the audience will be solely for the Blues Brothers themselves because he believes that Islanders are lovers of blues in general, well versed on the subject, and hungry to hear it. In fact, it’s the Island, he admits, that keeps him informed about the blues.

“To be honest I’ve been getting my musical updates from MVYradio, which I listen to often; the ‘Blues at 8’ is really good and informative. I think the Vineyarders have a pretty sophisticated musical palate. If I could suggest anything new [in blues music], it would be a young Australian artist named Owen Campbell who’s got some good grooves and a very cool retro style.”

Unlike Messrs. Aykroyd and Belushi, who often became so soaked in perspiration during their shows that they’d need to switch out their shirts and suits whenever they could slip backstage, Messrs Catania and Lafferty don’t have that luxury.

“No time for costume changes, I’m afraid, but we do keep a bottle of ‘Old Spice’ handy in case we have to meet people after the show,” said Mr. Lafferty, who, like his entertainment partner, must also contend with fog-ups of another key component to the Blues Brothers look, the famous sunglasses.

“Yes, that can be a problem,” said Mr. Lafferty. “We’ve tried a number of industrial and household products, petroleum products, even camel spit, and nothing seems to work. So we have a second pair off stage that we keep at 1.5 degrees C above normal body temperature.”

Benefit: The Official Blues Brothers Revue, Tuesday, August 12, 8 pm, Old Whaling Church, Edgartown. $45; $40 with Our Island Club card; $100 VIP party. For tickets to the Official Blues Brothers Revue, visit TicketsMV.com/BB or call 508-696-6300.

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From left: Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone, scheduled to perform at the Fern and Feather concert on August 3. — Alison Shaw Photography

Headlined by songwriter, singer, and guitarist Cindy Kallet, four accomplished folk musicians will perform together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fern and Feather Day Camp at Felix Neck, a Massachusetts Audubon Society wildlife sanctuary in Edgartown.

The show, at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury this Sunday, August 3, will raise money to support an Island family scholarship program for Fern and Feather, a natural history day camp. Ms. Kallet is a former volunteer and employee of Felix Neck.

As a songwriter, teacher, singer, and guitarist with five solo albums to her credit, Ms. Kallet has performed extensively throughout North America in coffeehouses, concert halls, house concerts, and music camps. She has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and WFMT’s Folkstage.

Her first album, Working on Wings to Fly, was voted one of the “Top 100 Folk Albums of the Century” by WUMB Boston radio listeners, and Ms. Kallet’s Leave the Cake in the Mailbox – Songs for Parents and Kids Growing Up was chosen for a 2004 Parents’ Choice Gold Award.

She has recorded three trio albums, with Ellen Epstein and Michael Cicone, who will join her for the first part of the concert.

For the past nine years Ms. Kallet has joined musical forces with Grey Larsen, who will join her for the second part of the show. They have recorded two albums together and many of the songs they perform were composed by the duo.

Mr. Larsen is noted for his fluency on the Irish Flute and tin whistle. He is also highly accomplished on the concertina, harmonium, and fiddle and is the author of books on Irish music and has more than a dozen CDs to his credit. Since 1989, he has been the music editor of Sing Out! Magazine and has devoted himself to the traditional fiddle music of his native Midwest and Appalachia since the 1970s.

Ms. Kallet has had a long relationship with Felix Neck and is proud of what she learned from former director Gus Ben David. “I started volunteering at Felix Neck as a teenager in the early 1970s,” Ms. Kallet told The Times, “and fell completely in love with that piece of the Island, and with what the Sanctuary meant to the preservation of land and habitat on the Vineyard. I learned so much from Mr. Ben David, who is and was one of the great teachers of this world.”

Ms. Kallet eventually joined the staff as a teacher/naturalist, trail clearer, window washer, floor sweeper, and as a counselor at Fern and Feather before moving to Maine, where she lived for 18 years.

Ms. Kallet and Mr. Larsen now live and work out of Bloomington, Ind.

Folk Singer Cindy Kallet and friends, Sunday, August 3, 7:30 pm, Grange Hall, West Tisbury. $25 in advance; $20 for Mass Audubon members; $30 at the door. For more information, visit massaudubon.org/fern-feather-fifty or call Felix Neck at 508-627-4850.

Campers from Camp Jabberwocky came and danced around the gazebo in Ocean Park. — Michael Cummo

Every other Sunday night, Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs opens its bandstand to the classic tunes of the Vineyard Haven Band. Visitors are welcome to sit and enjoy the music with a chair or a picnic blanket, or just to catch a few bars of the joyful tunes as they pass through the park to shopping, ice cream, and dinner engagements.

The bi-weekly performances draw vacationers, Island regulars, and often special groups like Camp Jabberwocky to dance and twirl about the gazebo. Performances are held every other Sunday at Owen Park in Vineyard Haven. Remaining dates for this season include August 3, Owen Park; August 10, Ocean Park; August 17, Owen Park; August 20, The Tabernacle (Illumination Night show); and August 24, Ocean Park. All shows begin at 8 pm.

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Dana Williams performs at Alex's Place this Saturday. — Ian Maxion

Alex’s Place at the YMCA will play host to a young artist making waves on the modern jazz and hip-hop scenes this weekend. On Saturday, July 19, singer Dana Williams will bring her effortless voice and timeless lyrics to the stage at 8 pm.

With inspirations such as Queen of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, Ms. Williams writes and records her own music and covers that of others. Hailing from a musical family (her father was guitarist David Williams), the 24-year-old singer’s vocals and natural stage presence have recently landed her a collaboration with rap artist Freddie Gibbs and the role of soundtrack artist for music executive Damon Dash’s new fashion line.

Along with original jazz melodies, her repertoire includes Lana Del Rey pop hits, folk songs by Band of Horses, and Americana by the likes of Shovels and Rope. Ms. Williams’s cover of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac with actress/musician Leighton Meester garnered more than 1 million Youtube views, and she has earned thousands of views for her originals and solo covers.

Tickets are $12 in advance at ticketsmv.com; $15 at the door. For more information about Ms. Williams and Alex’s Place, visit alexsplace.net.

Drum, or just hang out, on State Beach every Tuesday evening with Rick Bausman. — Ralph Stewart

Rick Bausman and the Drumming on the Beach Crew will perform on State Beach, halfway between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, from 6:30 pm until sunset on Tuesday evenings through the summer. Watc from a picnic blanket or the waves. Donations are suggested. Visit drum-workshop.org for more information.

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Old Whaling Church, rear view — File photo by Tim Johnson

Delores Stevens is well connected in the global chamber music scene. Every summer the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society (MVCMS) brings groups with some very enviable credentials to perform before Vineyard audiences.

This month, Ms. Stevens recruited two young ensembles who are fast making names for themselves worldwide. In two separate programs, Vineyard audiences will have the chance to hear virtuoso musicians performing Mozart, Schubert, a few contemporary composers and, to finish it all off, a little Dave Brubeck.

On Monday, July 14 and Tuesday, July 15, the Calder Quartet makes its Martha’s Vineyard debut. The Los Angeles-based string quartet was recently awarded the prestigious 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant. The quartet has been called “outstanding” and “superb” by The New York Times.

The Calder Quartet, which hails from Los Angeles, joins the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society for two shows next week.
The Calder Quartet, which hails from Los Angeles, joins the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society for two shows next week.

The quartet has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Edinburgh International Festival, and Austria’s Esterhazy Palace. They debuted a number of new compositions at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and earlier this year performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The group of young musicians has toured with rock bands and have been featured on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show,” and “Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel.”

Ms. Stevens, who spends her winters performing and teaching in southern California, is a strong advocate for new composers and has been following the Calder Quartet since its inception in 1998. “I became aware of them because when they were first formed they did a lot of new music,” she said. “They were very adventurous. They had a unique quality that was quite obvious from the beginning. It’s really been a joy to watch them grow and play with different orchestras.”

In the two concerts on the Vineyard, the Calder Quartet presents a program that represents a mix of eras. The performances will start off with a chamber music piece by Mozart. “Mozart’s piano concertos usually have orchestra accompaniment,” Ms. Stevens said. “But he wrote several that were intended to be accompanied by a quartet. This piece is one of my favorites. I think it’s one of the most beautiful concertos that he wrote.”

Mozart will be followed by Schubert’s famous “Death and the Maiden,” one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire that has been featured in a number of films. A more contemporary piece by Leoš Janáček will complete the program. The Czech composer drew from Eastern European folk music in creating his lively compositions.

“There’s going to be a little bit of every kind of music,” she continued, “from classical to the romantic period to more contemporary.”

Ms. Stevens generally makes an effort to mix up her programs in order to introduce audiences to a range of styles. Such will be the case with the second program of the summer season, when The Quartet San Francisco visits the Island for two performances on July 21 and July 22.

Grammy nominees for their last three CD releases and International Tango competition winners, the Quartet San Francisco mixes up jazz, tango, and contemporary classical, making them a perfect fit for MVCMS, which despite being a 44-year-old organization, seeks to promote new music and various styles in order to introduce audiences to chamber music and continue the education of aficionados.

The concert starts off with Samuel Barber’s haunting “String Quartet Op. 11,” made famous in recent times through its inclusion in a number of movie soundtracks including those for “Platoon” and “The Elephant Man.”

The program also includes a swing number by Gordon Goodwin, known for his many film and TV scores; a piece by jazz, film, and TV composer Patrick Williams; and works by Peter Schickele, aka P.D.Q. Bach.

Drawing on the Quartet San Francisco’s strong jazz roots, the group will finish up with Dave Brubeck’s famous “Take Five,” which has been featured in numerous films and served as the theme for the NBC’s “The Today Show” for many years. That piece, like most of the others that make up the program, will be familiar to many audience members due to their commercial history and mainstream appeal.

Ms. Stevens hopes to attract new — and younger — audiences to MVCMS through her commitment to including work by contemporary composers and more widely accessible genres. While she spends her winters in Los Angeles performing, teaching, and serving on the boards of a number of music organizations, while on the Vineyard Ms. Stevens focuses solely on bringing world-renowned musicians and eclectic programming to Island audiences.

“I’m really concentrated on the concerts here, which is kind of a relief,” she said. “From here I can focus completely on the music…and taking the occasional walk in the woods.”

Music: M.V. Chamber Music Society with Calder Quartet present From the Halls of Carnegie and Disney, 8 pm, Monday, July 14 at Old Whaling Church, Edgartown; Tuesday, July 15, Chilmark Community Center. $35; $30 with Our Island Club card; free for students. For more information, visit mvcms.org.

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Lowland Hum performs at Alex's Place on Friday. — Photo Courtesy of YMCA of M.V.

Alex’s Place presents a weekend of folk music and comedy with two shows by up-and-coming young artists. The intimate performance venue at the YMCA in Oak Bluffs will host North Carolina folk duo Lowland Hum on Friday, July 11, at 8 pm, and on Saturday, July 12, standup comedian Charlie Nadler will take the stage at 8 pm.

Lowland Hum is comprised of husband and wife Daniel and Lauren Goans who use their differing artistic expertise to create a multi-sensory musical experience for the crowd. With Daniel as a musician and Lauren a visual artist, the two employ folk music and lyrics as their main medium and they embellish each song with artistic prints and engaging scents that allow their audiences to interact with their music on multiple levels. Admission to Friday’s show is available to all ages and costs $12 in advance at ticketsmv.com, or $15 at the door.

Charlie Nadler visits his hometown this weekend and performs at Alex's Place Saturday.
Charlie Nadler visits his hometown this weekend and performs at Alex’s Place Saturday.

Charlie Nadler returns to Alex’s place this year with new comedic material that the audience is bound to both laugh at and relate to. Mr. Nadler grew up in Oak Bluffs and graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in 2002 before attending Boston University and then moving to California to work in the film and TV industry. Now he lives in New York and regularly performs standup comedy shows in which he spins tales of his life on the Island and abroad with witty and suggestive humor. The show is PG-13 and costs $12 in advance (ticketsmv.com) and $15 at the door.

This weekend’s two shows are among a hefty summer roster of artists from the Island and beyond to perform at Alex’s Place. Visit alexsplace.net for information on upcoming shows and events.

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Willy Mason is among the 10+ performers set to play at the first MV Sound Festival. — Photo courtesy of MV Sound Fest

Thanks to its popularity in summer and a robust music community overflowing with homegrown talent, Martha’s Vineyard has seen its fair share of music festivals and concerts come and go from year to year. Summer 2014 brings with it a new festival to the Oak Bluffs horizon, one that benefits the Island community both musically and otherwise and aims to be here to stay. This Saturday, June 12, the Martha’s Vineyard Sound Festival will rock Waban Park in Oak Bluffs with local vendors, artists, and a seven-hour long lineup of more than 10 local, national, and international musicians.

The brainchild of Island residents and music community staples Phil DaRosa and Ann Quigley, the festival begins this year as an event to show Island residents and visitors a good time while supporting the launch of their new nonprofit startup, The Island Collaborative. The festival/fundraiser has truly become an effort of the Island community, with help from Barbara Dupree of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, website building by Jesse Hayes of Hayes Design, social media work by Jess Phaneuf, and advertisement printing by Dennis daRosa of daRosa’s.

Island staple Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish is among the bands to play at the festival.
Island staple Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish is among the bands to play at the festival.

The Island Collaborative will be dedicated to creating projects among local entities, individuals, and businesses that will be aimed at “social equity and sustainability on the Island,” Mr. DaRosa said in an interview with The Times. “We’re hoping for a wide umbrella that reaches anything from fixing a farm tractor to managing rainwater runoff.” Mr. DaRosa and Ms. Quigley plan to use proceeds from the festival to file The Island Collaborative as a nonprofit and be up and running by late fall.

As owner of The Print Shop recording studios, member of local band Dukes County Love Affair, and former entertainment director at Dreamland, Mr. DaRosa is a natural choice for bringing Island musical talent together. In past years he has curated Chilmark Chill Billy music festivals and booked various club events, and for M.V. Sound he has worked in partnership with production company San Miguel Sound, which hosts festivals nationwide and recently included big-name headliner Lorde. With the M.V. Sound, Mr. DaRosa hopes to eventually put Martha’s Vineyard on New England’s musical map by first showcasing and introducing the “local music vibe,” he said. “The idea is to start with the best of the Vineyard by trying to bring all people available out.”

On the Island in the summer there is no lack of “people available,” and the festival’s Island roots are deeper than the stage’s posts in Waban Park. Islanders will recognize the familiar sounds of Dukes County Love Affair, whose rock tunes never fail to get the crowd moving; upbeat country blues group Good Night Louise; folk-inclined Willy Mason and Alex Karalekas; father-daughter folk duo Lexie and Arlen Roth; longtime Vineyard staples Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish; and Ben Taylor. Will Evans of Connecticut folk-rock band Barefoot Truth will be visiting for the show, as will Grammy award winning Hawaii singer John Cruz, and jazz group Dwight & Nicole. When the gates close at 10 pm, after parties will be held with Peg House at The Dive Bar; Mike Benjamin, Funkwagon, and Rich Brown and Paul Size at The Ritz; and DJ AP and Euphony at Island Bar and Grill.

The lineup is not the only thing that will keep the crowd entertained; throughout the day local vendors, artists, nonprofits, and victualers will sell their wares and provisions at stands and tents surrounding the park. Festival attendees can listen to the tunes on stage while sipping beer and wine from the beverage tent, drinks from the Chilmark Coffee Company, pizza from the Flatbread Pizza mobile oven, tempura and sushi

Jazz/blues group Dwight & Nicole.
Jazz/blues group Dwight & Nicole.

from the Sand Bar and Grill stand, and frozen yogurt from Tisberry. Everyone is encouraged to bring an empty water bottle for refills provided by Vineyard Bottled Water. A number of other vendors are yet to be confirmed. Artists Traeger diPietro, David Tierney, Dan VanLandingham, Darcie Lee Hanaway, and others will present their works and create live art on the scene.

Under a 3,000-person cap set by the town, Mr. DaRosa hopes that the festival and its prime spot across from the Oak Bluffs Town Beach will prompt music lovers of all ages and families to stop by the show or settle in for the day with a picnic blanket and umbrella. “If it’s hot, go to the beach, take a dip, and then come back for more music,” he said.

M.V. Sound Festival, 3–10 pm, Saturday, July 12, Waban Park, Oak Bluffs. $30 includes entry and re-entry to the festival and a discounted cover charge for the after parties; $100 all-access pass offers a spot in a lounge tent with light refreshments, view of the stage, and a meet-and-greet with the artists. The festival asks attendees to leave food, drinks, and cigarettes at home. Parking will be available at the Oak Bluffs School for $5 that will benefit the school, and a shuttle bus will run between the lot and park starting at 2:30 pm.

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A 1965 painting by Thomas K. "Tokey" Barnes of David playing at Munroe's on Circuit Avenue in the early 1960's. The women behind David, at the piano, is David’s mother. Tokey is the man in the checked jacket with a cigarette. Restaurant owner George Munroe, is wearing the chef’s hat. — Thomas K. Tokey Barnes

Pianist David Crohan is celebrating his 70th birthday and 50 years of performing on Martha’s Vineyard with a benefit concert that will include some of the most important people in his long, storied musical life. The concert at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs on Sunday, July 13, at 6:30 pm is planned as a tribute to those he learned from. It will benefit The Perkins School for the Blind and the New England Conservatory of Music, two of his alma maters, Island Elderly Housing, and the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group.

Island favorite David Crohan turns 70 this month and celebrates with a benefit concert on Sunday, July 13, at the Tabernacle.
Island favorite David Crohan turns 70 this month and celebrates with a benefit concert on Sunday, July 13, at the Tabernacle.

The concert features both Mr. Crohan’s stellar mix of classical and jazz piano with guests and a special second set with some of his Island musician friends playing popular music with some folk and rock thrown in. The show will include the spectacular voice of teenager Caroline Sky and David’s son, Phillip, on guitar.

Among the musicians joining Mr. Crohan are Wade Preston, who played in the Broadway show “Movin’ Out” featuring the songs of Billy Joel; Henry Santos, Stephen McGhee, David Hinds, Caroline Sky, Tom Billotto, Merrily Fenner, and Hugh Taylor.

Harry Santos, Mr. Crohan’s music teacher at Perkins, taught him to play the first movement from Robert Schumann’s “Piano Concerto in A” during his senior year of high school. The 86-year-old Mr. Santos, who Mr. Crohan later learned was the Reverend Martin Luther King’s roommate at Boston University and who has been an advocate of little known 19th century black composers during his career, will accompany Mr. Crohan on the Schumann piece on a second piano. It will be the first time in 52 years they have played together.

Mr. Crohan said he has a particular appreciation for turning 70 since not one of his three older siblings lived to be 70. His actual birthday is July 11.

Mr. Crohan was the former proprietor of and nightly pianist at David’s Island House, a restaurant and bar on Circuit Avenue that he operated during summers from 1978 until 1997. During the winters, he played at top-shelf Boston hotels and restaurants, including the Copley Plaza, the Parker House, Hotel Le Meridien, and the Bay Tower Restaurant.

Mr. Crohan now lives in Lake Worth, Fl., and has played for 12 years at the tony Cafe L’Europe in Palm Beach. He spends July and August on the Vineyard and has played at The Boathouse in Edgartown, Wednesdays through Saturdays, for the last five years. He usually has at least one concert performance on the Island every summer.

Blind since birth, Mr. Crohan was born in Providence, R.I., and spent 13 years as a boarding student at The Perkins School in Watertown, the oldest school for the blind in the United States, where Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, taught.

He showed musical promise before attending Perkins, being able to pick out popular tunes he heard on a piano before turning four, but it was at Perkins that his musical gifts grew. He then spent eight years at the New England Conservatory earning three degrees while performing in Boston and on the Vineyard.

“In those days the only important things for me and my friends were girls and music, and sometimes the music came first,” he recalled.

In 1962, after graduating from Perkins, the 17-year-old Mr. Crohan was invited to spend a week on the Vineyard with an aunt and uncle who had a house in the Campground in Oak Bluffs.

“The first night we were there I took a walk with my uncle to Circuit Avenue,” he said. “There was a piano in what they called the Topside at the Ritz. No one was playing so I sort of took over for that Friday and Saturday night. The third day I was there we went for dinner at The Boston House, a place more commonly known as Munroe’s after the owner George Munroe. It was June and the pianist they hired hadn’t come yet. So I played.

“Mr. Munroe said, ‘I can’t hire you this year because I have already hired someone else. I would if I could. I’m not going to pay you for tonight but I am going to give you an unlimited gift certificate but I am dating it next year.’ He said he hoped I would think about playing the next summer.”

Mr. Crohan’s mother thought he was too young to take a job like that so she had him wait for another year, until he was 19.

“It was the summer before The Beatles took off,” he said, “and I was playing the popular music of the time. There was a big mix of ages at Munroe’s and I was playing a wide variety of music including my usual classical music. There was a sing-along almost every night. That was the start of 50 years of magnificent times and great joy, and everything that can be said good about my life on the Vineyard.”

Mr. Crohan does not consider himself a composer, but he and his wife rent a house on the Vineyard from a friend who accepts payment in the form of an annual song he writes for the friend. The house is big enough for his extended family to visit. “It’s a great deal,” he said. “Each of us thinks we are getting the best end of the bargain, and it allows me to afford to play on the Vineyard every summer and to spend time with my family.” His three grown sons and five grandsons all live in the Boston area.

Music: David Crohan in Concert, 7:30 pm, Sunday, July 13, Tabernacle, Oak Bluffs. Doors open at 6:30 pm. $30 benefits Island Elderly Housing, M.V. Cancer Support Group, The Perkins School, and New England Conservatory of Music.