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Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival

Photos from events during festival held on noted island

John Abbott at book signing during the 2011 Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival
Jimmy Heath and Antonio Hart in performance at Deon's during the 2011 Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival
Nnenna Freelon receiving the 1st annual Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival "Vineguard" award during the 2011 Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival
Jimmy Heath at book signing during the 2011 Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival

On August 6-13, 2011, the Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival and “All Things Jazz” presented the diversity of jazz in a variety of formal and informal venues, including live musical performances, art exhibits, book readings and signings, and film presentations.

The festival kicked off Saturday August the 6th with a 2nd line parade through Oak Bluffs featuring the Boston-based band Made in the Shade, as well as a film presentation of Round Midnight presented by the wife and widow of Dexter Gordon-Ms. Maxine Gordon.

Sunday, August 7 launched the Art Exhibit featuring local regional and national visual artists presenting jazz-oriented works at Shephard ArtSpace in Oak Bluffs; the exhibit featured photographs by legendary photographer, Mr. Chuck Stewart.

Sunday night on August 7 at Nancy’s restaurant also featured a performance by bass player Ben Wolfe and his quartet featuring James Burton on Trombone.

Monday, August 8 featured a performance by Elan Trotman, the contemporary jazz saxophonist out of Boston to a sold out crowd of 300-plus people at Lola’s in Oak Bluffs

Tuesday, August 9 featured a book signing with Jimmy Heath & Antonio Hart, at Bunch of Grapes bookstore moderated by WGBH’s Eric Jackson talking about Jimmy Heath’s book I Walked with Giants.


Also on Tuesday night (August 9) the Antonio Hart Quartet featuring Richard Johnson on piano, Ben Wolfe on bass, and Lee Pearson on drums performed at Deon’s Restaurant in Oak Bluffs to another sold-out crowd of 200 standing room only.

On Wednesday August 10 Bunch of Grapes Bookstore featured a book reading and signing with Willard Jenkins and Maxine Gordon talking about Willard Jenkins book African Rhythms: An Autobiography of Randy Weston.

On Wednesday night, the festival featured another sold-out performance of 200 people at Deon’s restaurant for the performance of vibraphonist Warren Wolf, featuring the house rhythm section of Richard Johnson, Ben Wolfe & Lee Pearson.

On Thursday August 11 the festival returned to Bunch of Grapes bookstore with John Abbott and Bob Blumenthal for a book reading and signing of their book Saxophone Colossus: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins.


On Thursday, August 11 Nnenna Freelon performed to a sold out crowd of 500 people at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. And she also accepted the first ever Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival “Vineguard” award this award is presented to one performing artist every year who the festival feels represents the authenticity and spirit of the art form of jazz.

On Friday August 12 the Mario Castro Quintet from the Berklee College of Music performed to another sell-out crowd of 200 people at Deon’s.

Saturday August 13th the MVJQ (Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Quintet) performed at Nectar’s to close the 2011 festival.


The first year attendance included roughly 2000 ticket purchasers throughout the week, and a total of 5000 or more festival participants in related festival events, parade, art exhibits, film presentations, book signings, and live performances.

For more info, go to the festival’s website.

Originally Published