P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2006
April 28, 2006
Memorial Day Weekend Opening Concert
(North Adams, Mass.) Last seen at MASS MoCA as part of the 2001 sold-out Talking Heads tribute, Vernon Reid returns with his band, Masque, and frequent collaborator Chicago-based acid jazz ensemble Liquid Soul. Playing both separately and together they'll perform on the museum's Hunter Center stage on Sunday, May 28, at 8 P.M. kicking off the start of summer season and the opening of Ahistoric Occasion at the museum.
"When Vernon Reid has a guitar in his hands, you can't sit still," said Joseph Thompson, MASS MoCA's director, "he touches something in you. And if you don't know Liquid Soul, you're in for treat-they make huge, infectious music. We'll keep the galleries open until 7 on this Sunday evening to celebrate the opening of our new show, Ahistoric Occasion: Artists Making History. Come for the afternoon, stroll the galleries, have dinner, and enjoy what promises to be a transporting concert."
The architect of Living Colour, one of the world's most inventive and socially conscious rock bands, Reid first picked up the guitar at the age of 15, inspired by Carlos Santana. Grammy-nominated Reid is a songwriter, energetic guitar player, and a master at fusing elements of rock, blues, jazz, and funk. He has also composed music for the Marlies Yearby Dance Company, for the films Fresh Kill and Johnny Mnemonic, and for choreographer Ralph Lemon. He has worked towards breaking down stereotypes and political barriers through his music and by co-founding the Black Rock Coalition. Reid often collaborates, working with such greats as B.B. King, The Ramones, Tracy Chapman, Mick Jagger, and his own inspiration, Carlos Santana.
Formed in 1993, Chicago acid jazz band Liquid Soul quickly emerged as a Windy City club favorite, thanks to their regular Sunday night gigs at the Elbo Room. The group recorded a self-titled debut LP for their own Soul What label. A series of high-profile gigs, including appearances at President Bill Clinton's inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., as well as basketball star Dennis Rodman's birthday party, boosted Liquid Soul's visibility, and in 1996 their album was reissued on the Ark 21 label, moving their regular Sunday gigs to Chicago's Double Door. They produced their second record, Make Some Noise, in 1998. Here's the Deal followed two years later. Originally comprised of saxophonist/musical director Mars Williams, DJ Jesse de la Pena, guitarist Tommy Klein, bassist Ricky Showalter, trumpeter Ron Haynes, keyboardist Frankie Hill, and drummer Dan Leali, the group now features Williams, Showalter, Haynes, Hill, and Leali in addition to new recruits including DJ Ajax, rapper the Dirty MF, guitarist Tommy Sanchez, trombonist John Janowiak, percussionist Newt Cole, and vocalist Simone (the daughter of the great Nina Simone).
Vernon Reid's latest ensemble, Masque, is a core quartet made up of Marlon Browden on drums, Hank Schroy on bass, Leon Gruenbaum on keyboard and (of course) the Samchillian. DJ Logic and Beans from anti-pop consortium are part of the extended Masque crew.
Sponsored by Blue Q, the Pittsfield-based designers and manufacturers of eclectic bath and gift products found in fun shops around the world. "Sponsors are so important to making events at MASS MoCA possible and we are deeply grateful to Blue Q as well as all the other local companies who sponsor events here," said director Thompson.
Tickets to the summer opening concert are $19 in advance or $24 day of show. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 11 am until 5 pm every day but Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours. Dinner from Lickety Split will be available before and during the show. The galleries will be open until 7 PM with special reduced-price admission for concert ticket-holders.
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. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release