One of the greatest things about living on the Outer Banks is the extraordinary power of creativity that exists here. There is visual art everywhere–from the Dare County Arts Council and small, funky galleries in Manteo, to Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery at the north end of the art district in Nags Head, all the way up to Corolla where hand carved decoys and hand crafted jewelry is found in a number of shops.

It’s not just visual arts. There are probably as many published authors and freelance writers on the Outer Banks per capita as there are any where else. And that doesn’t include the unpublished ones who just love the craft. A great chance to hear what the unpublished writers have to say comes the second Thursday of every month at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery with an open mic reading sponsored by the DCAC. (6:30 p.m., if you’re planning on attending.)

And then there’s the music scene. If there is any one place to look to see how creative the Outer Banks is, look no further than the local talent.

A number of moons ago, when I finally migrated to the Outer Banks, I was in a small dive of a restaurant called the Rundown Cafe (still there, same name, same location . . . doesn’t qualify as a dive anymore). Laura Martier–local vocalist, who I had no knowledge of–stands in front of a piano and a drummer. She begins to sing and I suddenly find myself in some New York City nightclub, listening to a world class act. Amazing vocals, perfect phrasing . . . extraordinary. Then there’s Ruth Wyand, who has won a number of national guitar picking awards. Great vocals, too. She and Laura will team up from time to time.

And we can’t forget the Tim Reynolds Trio (TR3) who call the Outer Banks their home. Tim’s regular job is touring with Dave Matthews, but in between times, with Mick Vaughn on bass and Dan Martier (yes, that is Laura’s husband) on drums, the group tours nationally.

With music so much a part of the Outer Banks art scene, it’s no wonder three major festivals are scheduled over two weekends.

New this year is the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival. Performances on Friday and Saturday October five and six with workshops scheduled on the seventh. It will all be held at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. Headliner Rhonda Vincent plays mandolin like no one else and has a voice to match. Tickets may be tough to come by, but check it out.

If there’s a  Grand Dame of the Outer Banks music festival scene, it’s the Duck Jazz Festival. Sunday, October 7 this year, this is the sixth annual gathering and it has gotten better every year. It’s free, the setting is beautiful (the outdoor Duck Amphitheater) and the music is great. Traffic does slow to a standstill and parking is at a premium, but any headaches are worth it–this is a wornderful, free event and great for the whole family.

Finally, the following weekend October 13 and 14)–the second annual Mustang Music festival up in Corolla at Mike Dianna’s Grill Room–actually Timbuck II shopping plaza. Laura Martier is helping Mike promote the festival this year and the lineup looks even better than last year. One of the great features of what Mike does with the Mustang Music Festival is have two stages for music so there is always something happening. Proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

A lot happening. Don’t miss out!

*Resort Realty is a proud sponsor of the Duck Jazz Festival and the Mustang Music Festival