Given any usual wintry Saturday night on Martha’s Vineyard and you might be inclined to think most islanders would be cozied up in front of a roaring fire with a good book or a movie. But around once a month you will find a good many winter residents of all ages at the Chilmark Community Center, which is transformed into a coffee house style music venue by Alex Karalekas and his team of volunteers. You usually only find out about these kind of casual winter events in typical Vineyard fashion via Facebook or word of mouth! It’s a free potluck event and if you plan on eating you are encouraged, (but not obligated),to bring a dish to share.
The last Potluck Jam was early January and came at a perfect time to reconnect year round islanders after the busy holiday season. I arrived with family and friends around 6pm; the performances had started at around 5 and the place was already packed-out and in full swing. The Chilmark Community Center hosted over 30 island musicians that night including Isaac Taylor, The Chandler Blues Band, Willy Mason, Nina Violet, and David Stanwood playing everything from blues, guitar, to African drum beats. Families with young children came early and parents enjoyed the music whilst kids played games outside in the unseasonal balmy January air. The late arrivals showed up with trays of desserts or cookies and were still enjoying the sounds until after I left at around 10pm.
The next Potluck Jam is this Saturday February 20th. It's a great social event! The line-up includes around 30 artists including Kate Taylor, Phil DaRosa, Jemima James, Anthony Esposito and Alex Karalekas. This month some of the islands new youth talents will be showcased. Starting at 5pm, the event closes after 10pm.