Pathways will host a pair of Valentine’s Day musical treats for Vineyard audiences in the coming week and a half. On Saturday, Feb. 9, an informal group of local musicians will present a concert of romance-themed cover songs titled “Pop Friction: Shades of Love.” The show’s poster includes a provocative subtitle: “Songs of Nostalgia, Intrigue, and Desire,” and the song titles are being kept a secret. However, vocalist Laura Walton reveals that the artists whose music will be featured cover a wide range from Shirley Bassey, the Beatles, and Elvis to Queen and Amy Winehouse.
On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, Alex Karalekas will present an evening of original tunes performed by an impressive lineup of local musicians. Included in the marathon concert will be Nina Violet, Jemima James, Isaac Taylor, Mike Benjamin, David Stanwood, Tim Laursen, Missis Biskis, Lydia Fischer, Laura Ann, John O’Toole, Jodie Treloar, Jared Salvatore, and Rebecca J. Sanders. Karalekas, who will also be performing, is well known for organizing potluck music jams at the Chilmark Community Center.
The Feb. 9 event will be a follow-up to a concert by a similar group of assorted musicians last year. Members include Siren Mayhew, Sean McMahon, Christine Seidel, George Davis, Aaron Lowe, Julius Lowe, and Laura Walton. The event is co-sponsored by Pathways and the Muse Martha’s Vineyard, which was established last year as a result of a grant from Ernie Boch Jr.’s Music Drives Us foundation.
Many of those involved in the project had never performed together before the Pathways concert last year. Annie Cook organized the group for last year’s Valentine’s show, which featured jazz standards. They came together as a group specifically for that show, and decided that they enjoyed it enough to host a second show. “It’s a really talented group of people,” says Walton, a singer and songwriter who also teaches music at the Edgartown School and is the artistic director for the M.V. Children’s Chorus. “The neat part of it all is that we hadn’t played together before. That’s the best part. We all brought something in.”
Pathways co-director Keren Tonnesen notes that bringing together artists for shared projects is one of the primary missions of the organization. “Marianne [Goldberg, the founder of Pathways] was all about collaboration,” she says. “She had hoped that people would team up on projects, create and perform together. This show is a great example of that ideal in practice.”
Both concerts will feature musicians who regularly perform at Pathways — including Mayhew, McMahon, Stanwood, and Karalekas, as well as people new to the venue and, in some cases, relatively new to the local music scene.
“Pathways is a comfortable, safe space for people to try out new material and get a chance to perform in public,” says Tonnesen. “We welcome a range of artists from seasoned professionals to newcomers. Our audiences are always very supportive and curious about anything new that’s happening in the arts.”
“It’s such a great place to rehearse and perform,” says Walton. “I’m super-grateful to Pathways for providing this opportunity.”
Pathways hosts curated and open-participation arts-related events at the Chilmark Tavern at least twice a week throughout the off-season. Other upcoming evenings will include a love-themed night of readings by Lee McCormick, Natasha Taylor, Richard Skidmore, and Corinne de Langavant on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and an event called Projects in the Works, a night of presentations of new work in music, video, visual art, and more. As always, all those interested in participating are welcome to show up and read during the weekly Tuesday Writing and Poetry Evening, and are encouraged to contact the Pathways staff to be included in other arts events.
New for Pathways is a free shuttle service to and from the Chilmark Tavern. Meet at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (on the Edgartown side of the school) at 6:15 pm on event nights and get a free ride with Stagecoach Taxi. The return trip to the parking lot will leave post-event around 9 pm.
“Pop Friction: Shades of Love,” Saturday, Feb. 9. “On Matters of the Heart: Writing and Poetry Evening” hosted by Lee McCormack, Tuesday, Feb. 12. “Sing Love: A Musical Extravaganza!” Thursday, Feb. 14. All events start at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:30. All Pathways events are free.