Mark Alan Lovewell comes from Martha’s Vineyard, an Island off the coast of Massachusetts. He is a Renaissance man, a storyteller, sea chantey singer, musician, writer and photographer. If there is but one glue connecting all those skills together, it is his exuberant love for the sea and its lore. Yes, you might say he is a renaissance man of the sea.
He started performing on stage as a child, singing, playing a guitar, banjo and harmonica. He comes from a musical New England family with a whaling heritage. While going through college and working at the South Street Seaport Museum as a writer, he was one of the top performers at the country’s Bicentennial celebration Parade of Sail in New York City harbor in 1976. After college, he returned to his Vineyard home and started working as a reporter for the award-winning weekly newspaper Vineyard Gazette, a newspaper with readership in 50 states and over 12 foreign countries. Mark spends most of his time writing about the waterfront.
His vocation and avocation have taken him on extended trips on fishing boats and oceanographic research vessels from New Bedford out to Georges Bank and into Cape Cod Bay. In fact he has been on just about every kind of vessel there is, from freighter to tall ship, from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea; sometimes singing, sometimes carrying a notebook and camera.
His work has been published in books, magazines and he has received environmental awards for his writings on fisheries. He has researched his family history, collected sea songs and stories of New England from out of print books, newspaper articles and ship logs. In 2002 he came out with a CD, a collection of songs: Sea Songs of Martha’s Vineyard for the young and the young at heart. The CD was reissued in 2004.
In 2005 he came out with a second CD called Martha’s Vineyard Folksongs.
In March and April of 2004 Mr. Lovewell went to Hawaii and Alaska and other parts of Massachusetts to share his stories and songs at museums, elementary schools, high schools and colleges; under a federally funded education grant The Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations (known informally as ECHO).
In that four week trip he represented the New Bedford Whaling Museum and joined storytellers from the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage and the The Iņupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska. Together, they retold the stories of their whaling heritage and performed for hundreds of young people.
This year, Mr. Lovewell is performing again, closer to home. Concerts are being planned for here on Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the mainland. Visit the calendar section of this web site for details.