P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
May 1, 2001
Opening Day at MASS MoCA Features Gallery Viewing and New Orleans Swing Dance Party
(May 1, 2001 -- North Adams, MA) On May 27, MASS MoCA will open its major exhibition Game Show with special extended gallery hours and a New Orleans Swing dance party. After viewing the exhibition with gallery hours extended until 7 pm, visitors will dance the night away as New Orleans jazz trumpeter/vocalist Kermit Ruffins and his quintet, the Barbecue Swingers, provide a mix of brass band jazz, bebop, and hip-hop.
"We're loosening things up a bit for this season's kick-off opening - it's barbecue and bebop instead of black tie. With a low price and great dance music we hope to see a big local crowd," said Joseph C. Thompson, Director of MASS MoCA. "Kermit Ruffins is the house band for some of the hottest clubs in New Orleans, including the legendary Tipitina's, so we knew he'd make it a memorable night. Game Show will have something for everyone, the galleries will be totally changed and the new art is wonderful."
Throughout the 20th century the world of games - with its inversions of mastery, dependence on chance, and reliance on both verbal and physical play - has intrigued and inspired visual artists. With its new exhibition, Game Show, MASS MoCA presents the first major show to explore how artists have adapted game structures and themes in their work. Game Show will focus on the proliferation of artists' "games" during the 1990s, concentrating on new media work, and including pieces by Sophie Calle, Mel Chin, Perry Hoberman, Matthew Ritchie, Natalie Bookchin, Christian Jankowski, Uri Tzaig, Christoph Draeger, Jarvis Rockwell, and Chris Finley.
Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers
If the trumpet is the essence of New Orleans, then trumpeter Kermit Ruffins is emblematic of the Crescent City's modern musical heritage. As a teen, Ruffins brought the ReBirth Brass Band to national prominence and was instrumental in inspiring a whole generation of young brass musicians to blend the urban styling of hip-hop, funk and heavy jazz into a vibrant street sound.
Today, Ruffins is considered a living embodiment of the great Louis Armstrong -- in playing style and in his raspy singing. His band, the Barbeque Swingers, comprising Corey Henry, trombone, Emile Vinette, piano, Rod Paulin, sax, Kevin Morris, bass and Jerry Anderson, drums, swells and swoons like an outfit twice their size. Their repetoire includes dazzling interpretations of Ain't Misbehavin, Bogalusa Strut and Gershwin's But Not For Me; but they also play New Orleans originals penned by Ruffins. Ruffins' charismatic personality, rich voice, and a twinkle-in-your eye sense of humor keep crowds entertained.
Novice dancers or those needing a refresher course in swing will find able assistance from dance instructors arranged by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.
Opening Day at MASS MoCA is sponsored by The Porches Inn, North Adams' newest hotel opening July 1. Game Show is also sponsored by The Porches Inn, with additional support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Tickets to the Opening Day which includes gallery admission and a night of New Orleans Swing are $15 for adults and $8 for kids. MASS MoCA members can purchase specially priced $12 tickets for the opening party. 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. Traditional New Orleans food and drink will be available before and during the party.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located at 87 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