• Well-known front man for Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish.

Creative Living Award Goes to Johnny Hoy

  • Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 12:40pm

  • Musician, fisherman, and stone mason Johnny Hoy of West Tisbury will receive the 2016 Creative Living Award,

Mr. Hoy is well-known to Islanders as the front man and harmonica player behind the band Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, which was formed in 1991 and has provided toe-tapping music around the world. They are known as the go-to dance band on the Vineyard, providing music everywhere from the Barn Raisers’ Ball to the Ritz, weddings and community events and fundraisers.

Away from the microphone Mr. Hoy is a commercial fisherman and self-taught stone mason. As the herring warden of West Tisbury, Mr. Hoy has led an effort to open James Pond for the spring herring arrival. Last March volunteers gathered to help Mr. Hoy dig a channel to the pond.

In his younger years, Mr. Hoy recalled in a 2006 interview with the Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, he ran a shad-fishing operation on the Connecticut River and hitch-hiked around the country. “When I got tired, I’d hop a freight train,” he said. “That’s how I learned to play the harmonica. The harp really sounds good in a freight car. It’s all echo-y in there.”

The Creative Living Award is presented annually by the Permanent of Endowment of Martha’s Vineyard to an Islander who enriches the quality of life on the Vineyard. The award was endowed in 1983 through a gift from the estate of Ruth J. Bogan.

The award will be presented to Mr. Hoy on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the 5:30 p.m. at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs. The winner of a free raffle held during the event will be able to select an Island charity to receive $1,000 from the Endowment.

Creative Living Award