August 4, 2005
MASS MoCA's New Orleans Dance Party to Raise Funds for Hurricane Victims
(North Adams, Mass.)-- Planned since last February, MASS MoCA's New Orleans Dance Party on Sunday, September 4 at 7:30 PM has taken on a new shape, and will be a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans and other areas hit by the disaster. "We've got a great band from New Orleans coming to town for the dance party and given the recent tragedy, it seemed obvious that we should turn the event into a fundraiser for a region in our county in desperate need," said Joseph Thompson, director of MASS MoCA. "We've been in contact with the Red Cross and determined that what's most needed right now is cash, so we're focusing our efforts on raising as much cash as we can at the event. In addition, the Berkshire Bank Foundation has generously offered to match on a dollar for dollar basis, all funds raised through this effort, and through other efforts in the City of North Adams, up to $50,000."
Acting through the City of North Adams Relief Fund for the New Orleans, MASS MoCA will donate 100% of all ticket profits from the event to the Red Cross. MASS MoCA will also collect direct donations at the event. The Red Cross will have donation boxes. 100% of all direct donations will go to the New Orleans relief effort. "We appreciate that the band is making the trip to New England during what is a very difficult time for them and their families, and hope that people will give as generously as they can throughout the night. The generous match from the Berkshire Bank Foundation means you're your contributions will go twice as far," said Thompson. "Come with your dancing shoes on, and your pockets full of cash to give away," urged Thompson. Cash and checks will be accepted.
"While we can fit a lot of people in our Courtyard C, ticket sales have been brisk so we encourage those interested in attending to call to reserve tickets in advance in case the event sells out," continued Thompson. "We would also encourage individuals in the area who would like to contribute and have that contribution matched by Berkshire Bank, to drop off donations at MASS MoCA anytime before Sunday night, even if they don't want to attend the dance."
Known for his innovative guitar and soaring, deep soul vocals, Walter "Wolfman" Washington was once one of the best kept secrets of New Orleans' night life, he and his band, the Roadmasters, have become one of the best known authentic groups with a reputation for classic R&B with a funky Creole touch.
Wolfman is "a local legend in the Black clubs of New Orleans," according to the All Music Guide which went on to say he "does not perform in the classic New Orleans R&B mold but incorporates soul, funk, jazz, and blues with fluency and power."
Born and raised in New Orleans, Wolfman became well known in the area first singing in his mother's church choir as a child, playing a supporting role for vocalist Johnny Adams in the late 1950s, and touring with Lee Dorsey in his late teens playing on Dorsey's hit single Ride Your Pony. He spent his twenties touring with Irma Thomas' Tornados, the Lastie brothers' legendary R&B group, A Taste of New Orleans, and finally forming his own groups: the Solar System, the All Fools Band, and ultimately the Roadmasters with whom he toured Europe. Wolfman started recording relatively late in his career recording his first, Rainin' In My Heart, in 1981. Since then he's slowly worked his way from local labels to national independent and finally to majors.
MASS MoCA's Becoming Animal performing arts programming is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Doors open at 6:30, and Lickety Split will have a special Cajun food and drink menu available for sale. Dance instruction arranged by Jacob's Pillow will begin at 7:30 while the Roadmasters take the stage at 8 PM.
Tickets to the New Orleans Dance Party are $14 in advance, $17 the day of the show. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily through September 6. In September and throughout the fall and winter MASS MoCA's box office is open from 11 - 5 every but Tuesdays when the museum is closed. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased anytime 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.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113