Livingston Taylor to perform on Martha’s Vineyard

— Photo by Albie Colantonio

Singer-songwriter, entertainer, and long-time Island personage Livingston Taylor will kick off the 2012 Tuesdays at Twilight concert series at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury, to benefit the West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc.

Livingston Taylor picked up his first guitar at the age of 13, beginning a 40-year career that has encompassed performance, songwriting, and teaching. Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Livingston is the fourth child in a very musical family that includes Alex, James, Kate, and Hugh. He recorded his first record at 18 and has continued to create well-crafted, introspective, and original songs that have earned him listeners worldwide.

From top-40 hits “I Will Be in Love with You” and “I’ll Come Running” to “I Can Dream of You” and “Boatman,” both recorded by his brother James, Livingston’s creative output has continued unabated. His musical knowledge has inspired a varied repertoire, and he is equally at home with a range of musical genres – folk, pop, gospel, jazz – and from upbeat storytelling to touching ballads.

Livingston has never stopped performing since those early coffeehouse days, touring with major artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Jimmy Buffett, and Jethro Tull, and he maintains a busy concert schedule of more than 80 shows a year. He is a natural performer, peppering his shows with personal stories, anecdotes, and warmth that connect him to his fans. His relaxed on-stage presence belies the depth of his musical knowledge, and fans might just as often be treated to a classic Gershwin or something from the best of Broadway.

As a full professor at Berklee College of Music since 1989, Livingston shares his experiences and knowledge of professional touring with young artists just beginning to hone their skills. His course, Stage Performance (I and II) is one of the most popular at the college, and it gives him the ideal forum in which to impart the lessons learned through his own career to a new generation of musicians. His book “Stage Performance,” drawn from those classes, will be available this fall.

Opening for Mr. Taylor will be Elizabeth Straton, who has sung her way through her Warwick upbringing. She and her sisters, Anne and Amy, have delighted Warwick Valley audiences with their festive and heart-felt songs for over 25 years. Elizabeth (aka Betsy) has performed her music throughout Europe and has been a featured festival and radio program artist in New York, Boston, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, London, and Paris. She has been the recipient of New York City’s singer-songwriter award and was chosen to represent America at the World’s fair In Seville, Spain, in 1992.

Ms. Straton and her children live on Martha’s Vineyard.

Grange windows will undoubtedly be open, for those wishing to enjoy tunes while dining al fresco.

The Tuesdays at Twilight concert series benefits the town library’s expansion and renovation. Upcoming performers include Jemima James with Dan Waters and Al Schackman; The Flying Elbows; Danna Banana (children’s performer Dan Cohen); Nina Violet; Lilah Larson with Sons of an Illustrious Father; and many other members of the local music community.

Livingston Taylor and Elizabeth Straton perform on Tuesday, July 10, 7:30 pm at the Grange Hall, West Tisbury. Doors open at 7 pm. Admission is $25, with advance tickets available at the library. If tickets remain available, they will be for sale at the door. For more information, visit