Vineyard Vibes Festival August 4-7

Vineyard Vibes, the festival presented by Berklee College of Music to showcase the talents of Berklee alumni, faculty, and students, will hold it's fifth-annual event August 4 through 7, at several locations on Martha's Vineyard, MA. The festival has quickly grown from a single-evening concert for the summer population of the Island, to a four-night destination festival playing to packed houses and attracting people to vacation there for the music as well as the splendor and beauty of the Vineyard. This year's lineup brings together artists from the worlds of jazz, Latin jazz, gospel, and, for the first time, rock music.

Vineyard Vibes '05 Schedule:

Thursday, August 4, Phil Wilson and the Berklee Rainbow Big Band at The Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center in Oak Bluffs at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15. The festival kicks off with a special performance of “The Wizard of Oz Suite,” arranged by faculty trombonist Phil Wilson and featured on his CD of the same name. Each year, Vineyard Vibes raises money to further the music education of Martha’s Vineyard students. This year, funding supported an outreach program for high school students who will attend clinics at Berklee and perform a song with Wilson at this concert. The Jeremy Ragsdale Quartet led by alumnus Ragsdale, open the concert.

Friday, August 5, Eguie Castrillo’s Big Band, A Tribute to the Mambo Kings: Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, and Machito, at the Hot Tin Roof in Edgartown at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $25. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for free salsa lessons. Percussionist and faculty member Eguie Castrillo leads his 18-piece big band in a tribute to three seminal figures in Latin music. The infectious rhythms of Castrillo's timbales will transport the audience back to another time and place, recreating the excitement and energy of the 1950's era, when Mambo and cha-cha-cha were all the rage. Salsa dancers will help the band invoke the spirits of these legendary Latin bandleaders.

Saturday, August 6, Juliana Hatfield at the Hot Tin Roof in Edgartown at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $20, and the show is all ages. Berklee alumna Juliana Hatfield, who headlines the festival, has carved out an impressive career with her brand of musical self-analysis. From her work with indie darlings the Blake Babies and critically acclaimed solo albums (beginning with 1992’s Hey Babe), to last year’s Some Girls side project, Hatfield has won over fans with songs that blend bright, infectious melodies with lyrics drawn from life’s chaos and confusion. Her latest album, In Exile Deo, continues to mine that dark yet appealing vein, and also breaks new ground for the popular and influential singer/songwriter. Special guests, and native Vineyarders, the Unbusted open up.

Sunday, August 7, Reverence Gospel Ensemble, directed by Dennis Montgomery III, at The Old Whaling Church in Edgartown at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20. Back by popular demand! The Reverence Gospel Ensemble was started at Berklee in 1981 and, under the leadership of faculty member Dennis Montgomery III, has become one of the most popular and best-known student ensembles at the college and beyond. Featured guest soloist will be Renese King, who has toured with the Boston Pops. Students Farah Siraj and Andrea Whaley open up, performing songs written for the women and children of Darfur to raise awareness of and support for victims of the ongoing violence in the Sudan.

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