M.V. Jazz and Blues Summerfest brings rhythm to Union Chapel

Sage, an all-female sextet that plays jazz, blues, and contemporary R&B, is one of the groups reinforcing the Summerfest's goal to empower women in music. — Photo courtesy of Lewis and Kirk

Oak Bluffs has been the go-to town for jazz, blues, soul, and R&B performances this summer, hosting the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, and Smokey Robinson. This weekend, the trend continues with the Martha’s Vineyard Jazz and Blues Summerfest at Union Chapel on Friday and Saturday, August 30 and 31.

The Summerfest includes Anaisa, Sage, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Nicholas David, and Andrea & James and the Andjam Band. “The festival is designed to entertain, benefit and unify families and the community around music by exposing emerging female musicians and outstanding male independent artists,” said Sheila Baptista, the event’s founder and producer, in a press release. The special focus on female musicians is evident in the lineup. Anaisa is an all-female seven-piece Latin jazz and salsa ensemble. Sage is another all-women’s group, a sextet that plays jazz, blues, and contemporary R&B stylings.

Vocalist, pianist, and flutist Andrea Rohlehr will perform alongside her husband, guitarist James Rohlehr and the Andjam Band. Nicholas David (Mrozinski), star of NBC’s “The Voice” and member of Nicholas Mrozinski & the Feelin Band, will also bring his vocal and piano talents to the Island before he sets out on tour with The Avett Brothers.

The festival will be headlined by comedienne Phyllis Yvonne Stickney. Ms. Stickney is known for her work as an activist and comedienne, as well as her acting roles in movies such as “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” and “Malcolm X.”

A portion of the proceeds from the Summerfest will benefit The Martha’s Vineyard Breast Cancer Network, and The Balm in Gilead, an organization advocating for individuals with HIV and AIDS.

Music: M.V. Jazz and Blues Summerfest, Friday, August 30 and Saturday, August 31, 7–10 pm, The Union Chapel, Oak Bluffs. $30–$35. For more information, call 914-363-9299 ext. 384 or email info@mvjazzbluessummerfest.com.