Kenny Wollesen and Himalayas
Apr 2626, 2008, 5:00 pm
$20 adults/$15 students/$10 kids
Percussionist, bandleader, and all around wild man Kenny Wollesen wears many hats: besides being one of the most sought after jazz drummers in the world, he also fronts a frenetic, semi-spontaneous marching band that turns up at parades and other events in NYC, gathering members as it goes and leaving hilarity in its wake.
All ages can join Wollesen for daily instrument- and music-making workshops April 22-25, at 11 AM. Transform discarded objects into sonic delights: warblers, bira biras, tube marimbas, coffee can cuicas, and more! Free for members, free with museum admission or $5 per workshop. Ticket-holders for the jamboree on Saturday, April 26 can come to any or all of the workshops for free.
Throughout the week Wollesen and friends will break out of the MASS MoCA complex and share their music with the community. Wednesday, April 23 at 4 PM musicians of all ages will follow Wollesen through downtown North Adams for a parade up and down Main Street. The group will visit other locations later in the week.
While Wollesen is in town visitors to the MASS MoCA campus might happen upon sonic massages in the lobby, Lithuanian melodies floating through the halls, bicycle powered hurdy gurdys under construction and more.
Wollesen wraps up the weeklong residency with a performance that combines his core group Himalayas, with local musicians in an ecstatic communal jamboree. Saturday, April 26, 4 PM.
PRESS RELEASE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Kenny Wollesen Invites All to Join his Jamboree in the Last Week of April
(North Adams, Massachusetts) The phrase “I love a parade” could have been coined by drummer and band leader extraordinaire Kenny Wollesen. A musician of versatility, skill, and ingenuity, Wollesen, with his ever-changing, ever-expanding music group Himalayas, has no qualms about leaving the stage to create an impromptu marching band and lead a parade. At MASS MoCA during April school vacation week from Tuesday, April 22, through Friday, April 25, Wollesen will hold daily instrument- and music-making workshops at 11 AM. The workshops may spontaneously lead to a parade through the MASS MoCA complex or possibly downtown North Adams. A final blow-out performance/ jamboree with members of Himalayas and the community will finish out the residency on Saturday, April 26, at 4 PM in the Hunter Center.
Kenny Wollesen has been playing music practically his entire life. Since the late ’80s he has recorded and toured with a host of legendary players including Tom Waits, John Lurie, Sean Lennon, Ron Sexsmith, Bill Frisell, Myra Melford, and John Zorn. Wollesen was a co-founder of the klezmer/rock/jazz group Klezmorim, is a member of the long-running group Sex Mob, fronts Himalayas on a regular basis, and is always ready to work with other musicians whenever the opportunity arises. The Brooklyn Rail says, “Wollesen’s talent might be described as the ability to capture what’s indispensable in a given musical tradition – be it New Orleans jazz, afro-Cuban, or klezmer – and raze its boundaries with his own imagination.”
Wollesen’s latest musical venture, Himalayas, was co-founded with saxophonist Jonathon Haffner and percussionist Jennifer Harris. Based on the idea of mobility and with a mission to inspire people in innovative ways, the band is marked by a constant influx of New York’s finest musicians led and inspired by Wollesen’s contagious spirit. Using a cache of original compositions from today’s outstanding composers including Frisell, Zorn, Bernstein Apfelbaum, Wilson, Mottel, Wieselman and Harris, Wollesen leads his band through endless styles of music, on rambunctious parades and offstage adventures. Of his fondness for taking the performers into the audience Wollesen said, “I’m about playing anywhere. We take the band through the streets year-round – organize parades, events, whatever. That’s where the hippest people are, out on the street, the people who stop and listen on their way.”
At MASS MoCA community members of all ages can catch some of Wollesen’s contagious enthusiasm for music. Using everyday objects, participants will learn how to build personal musical instruments and pitch in on the creation of one gigantic instrument that will require 20 – 30 people to play and will fill a corner of MASS MoCA’s cavernous Hunter Center when it is complete. For more information on daily workshops visit www.massmoca.org.
Tickets for Kenny Wollesen and Himalayas on Saturday, April 26 at 4 PM are $20 adults / $15 students/ $10 kids. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets for the workshops are free with museum admission and free to members. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 AM to 5 PM Wednesdays through Mondays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
Learn More About Kenny Wollesen and the Himalayas (official website)
Learn More About Kenny Wollesen and the Himalayas (myspace)