mass moca

Gabriel G. Bianchini

Harold López-Nussa is a 35-year-old jazz pianist and composer from Havana, Cuba. He’s traveling the world promoting his new album. Nussa’s tour includes a stop in the Berkshires Saturday night, when he’ll take his vibrant piano-driven sound to Club B10 at MASS MoCA. WAMC spoke to Nussa about his musical origins, the culture of jazz in Havana, and what it feels like to bring the people of Cuba and the United States together through music.

Michael Weintrob / www.facebook.com/RhiannonGiddensMusic/

Rhiannon Giddens has traveled the world playing American music. Born in North Carolina, she has sung, played violin, and plucked banjo in her band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. She has also worked as a solo artist, performing traditional folk, country, blues, and bluegrass, including original compositions. Both a Grammy winner and a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant,” Giddens is performing two sets at this weekend’s Fresh Grass festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. While her Saturday performance will be a more conventional set, Giddens tells WAMC her Friday set that opens the festival will be unique.

MASS MoCA will present the 8th Annual FreshGrass Festival this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept 14-16.

FreshGrass is a wonderland of traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, tucked into the 19th-century factory turned 21st-century museum that is MASS MoCA. An opportunity for enthusiasts to both appreciate and participate, FreshGrass is family-friendly and brimming with the brightest talent.

This year’s festival features Flogging Molly, Trampled by Turtles, Indigo Girls, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Yonder Mountain String Band, Bela Fleck, Rhiannon Giddens, and many more artists – along with awards, workshops, tributes, FreshScores, and more!

Sue Killam and Jodi Joseph joins us to tell us more. Sue is the Managing Director for the Performing Arts and Film at MASS MoCA and Jodi is the museum's Director of Communications.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Mass Moca in North Adams announced its new season of exhibitions, events, and concerts on Wednesday. The contemporary art behemoth is touting new and familiar voices.

Blondie
Alexander Thompson

New wave rock icons Blondie will perform in Joe's Field at MASS MoCA on North Adams, Massachusetts on Friday, August 3 with special guests And The Kids.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and their recent album, "Pollinator," was named one of Rolling Stone's 20 Best Pop Albums of 2017.

The legendary Debbie Harry joins us.

massmoca.org

Over the next few months on WAMC, we’re going to take you inside MASS MoCA in North Adams. The largest contemporary art museum in North America is allowing WAMC to follow the full course of an exhibition — from conception to opening. This is part one of our series Mind Of The Museum.

The director of MASS MoCA was involved in a car-motorcycle collision that left one dead in North Adams Friday night.

Julia Wolfe
Peter Sterling / juliawolfemusic.com

Three decades ago, composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe noticed something missing in the universe of music: a zone between rock, jazz, classical, and folk where new forms of musical expression could find new audiences and new players. So they invented a new world of music, and called it Bang on a Can.

The annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts includes daily performances in the museum galleries, a concert with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and concludes with a six-hour blow-out Marathon Concert performed by the festival ensembles and special guests.

The festival also features workshops, late-night concerts, free events in North Adams, and more. This year features special festival guest composer Steve Reich.

Pulitzer Prize winning composer and Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe joins us.

Neko Case: "Hell-On"

Jun 27, 2018
Neko Case
nekocase.com

This Friday, June 29, Ray LaMontagne’s "Part Of The Light" tour will take the stage in Joe’s Field at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts with very special guest: Neko Case. They will also perform at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York on Wednesday, July 4.

Neko Case, a member of The New Pornographers and power-trio case/lang/veirs with k.d. lang and Laura Veirs, put out a new solo-album out this month. “Hell-On” was released by ANTI- Records on June 1. It’s largely self-produced full of new stories and new sounds from the reliably fantastic musician.

Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon, curates "Come to Your Senses" in MASS MoCA’s Kidspace gallery and art-making studio, which will include new music by both of her parents. A program of Taylor’s long-running "Consenses" project, "Come to Your Senses" asks visual artists, poets, dancers, musicians, perfumers, chefs, and sculptors to use one another’s art as a catalyst to create their own work.

At Kidspace, the initial works of art, through which all other works were inspired, were created by 5th grade students in North Adams and Northern Berkshire schools. Come to Your Senses is the capstone of Kidspace’s “Art 4 Change” project. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 23, at from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Kidspace.

To celebrate the opening of "Come to Your Senses," Sally Taylor will present an intimate one-night-only concert in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA at 7 p.m.

artcountry.org

This summer, five major cultural institutions in and around northern Berkshire County are offering visitors a unique deal.

Museum Collective Announces Summer Ticket Plan

Apr 25, 2018
artcountry.org

Representatives of the five-member ArtCountry collaboration have announced new ticket options for museumgoers in the Berkshires this summer.

Mike Birbiglia
Evan Sung

The High Mud Comedy Festival takes over the campus of MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts this Friday and Saturday.

Friday night, Sasheer Zamata hosts “Sasheer Zamata Party Time!” in the Hunter Center. On Saturday, there will be a satire writing workshop by the Reductress, comedian-led gallery tours, and a performance by Nellie McKay.

To close the festival, Mike Birbiglia will present his new one-hour of stand-up, aptly entitled “The New One.” Birbiglia’s previous popular shows include “Thank God for Jokes,” “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” and “Sleepwalk with Me.” The latter was adapted into a film co-directed by Birbiglia and his stage-director Seth Barrish. In 2016 Birbiglia wrote and directed “Don’t Think Twice” starring Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key.

MASS MoCA Growing Into Expansion

Dec 15, 2017
JD Allen / WAMC

MASS MoCA is growing out of its teenage years and into its expanded campus in North Adams, Massachusetts. WAMC has more on the recent announcement of the cultural destination’s winter and spring programing.

JD Allen / WAMC

The studio residency program at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts is accepting applications from Puerto Rican artists affected by Hurricane Maria. 

Gabriel Kahane's Instagram feed


  Gabriel Kahane’s 8980: Book of Travelers is a new collection of songs inspired by the two-week train trip he took across the United States last November. He left on his un-plugged  journey the day after the 2016 election to meet and converse with dozens of strangers.

Created in collaboration with director Daniel Fish and designer Jim Findlay, 8980: Book of Travelers is a song cycle and solo stage show that will officially premiere at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival later this fall. Tonight, In a kind of sneak-peek, Kahane will take the stage in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA - where he’s been working on the piece in residency for about two weeks.

FreshGrass At MASS MoCA

Sep 11, 2017

It’s safe to say it’s been a big summer for our friends at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. They opened a new building of gallery space in May, hosted the Solid Sound festival in June and numerous other live events throughout the summer, broke attendance records, and presented groundbreaking and globally recognized contemporary art.

Never one to rest on their laurels, MASS MoCA will present the 7th Annual FreshGrass Festival this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept 15-17.

FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on four stages, and also in MASS MoCA’s galleries, brick-lined courtyards, and grassy field. The festival is produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression.

This year’s festival features Brandi Carlile, Railroad Earth, The Del McCoury Band, The Wood Brothers, Del and Dog, The Suitecase Junket, Crooked Still, and many more artists – along with awards, workshops, tributes, FreshScores, and more!

Here to tell us all about it are Joe Thompson, Director of MASS MoCA and Jodi Joseph, the museum’s Director of Communications.

JD Allen / WAMC

MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts is celebrating art and artists with its latest exhibits — opening in Building 13 tonight. WAMC got a tour as the final pieces of art were being hung.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: The Glass Castle, The Little Hours

Upcoming:
Trisha Brown Dance Company - Jacob’s Pillow, Ted Shawn Theatre, Becket, Mass. - Thursday 8/17 at 2 and 8 PM; Friday at 8 PM; Saturday 8/19 at 2 and 8 PM
Monica Bill Barnes & Company: “One Night Only” premiere - PS 21, Chatham, Friday 8/18, 8 PM
Khalif Neville, Victory Soul Orchestra - The Low Beat, Albany, Friday 8/18, 8 PM
Nona Hendryx and Nick Cave - MASS MoCA, Galleries and Hunter Center, Saturday 8/19, 7 and 8 PM
Colin Hay - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 8/19, 8 PM
Jazz in the Key of Dylan: Keith Pray, Chuck Lamb, Lecco Morris, Arch Stanton Quartet - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 8/19, 8 PM
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: French Virtuosity (Debussy, Ravel, Chausson) - Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 8/20, 3 PM
Goo Goo Dolls - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 8/20, 8 PM
Martine Syms: An Evening with Queen White (video/VR installation) - EMPAC Studio 1-Goodman, Monday 8/21 through September 6
Toy Story 3 - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 8/22, 1 PM, Free

New movies: The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Step, Logan Lucky, Wind River

David Lang
Peter Serling

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA is underway and runs through August 6th. 

The festival is dedicated entirely to adventurous contemporary music. We will spend three weeks immersed in today's most exciting music. Composers will have their new works performed. Players will perform in ensembles sitting alongside their teachers. The Festival includes daily performances in the museum galleries, free with museum admission, and concludes with a six-hour blow-out Marathon Concert performed by the Festival ensembles and special guests. 

The Festival also features  African and Latin music workshops, electronics and music business seminars, free events in the community, and more. To tell us more, we welcome Pulitzer Prize winning composer and Bang on a Can co-founder, David Lang.

The architect responsible for MASS MoCA is pursuing another mill building in North Adams, Massachusetts to create a small business and art incubator. 

Solid Sound Festival

Some 8,000 people are expected to make the pilgrimage to the three-day Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams this weekend — the first of the summer. 

Nels Cline
nelscline.com

  The Solid Sound Festival - Wilco’s music and arts festival - takes place this weekend at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and Nels Cline - one of Rolling Stones’ top 100 guitarists of all time - will perform at least 3 times -- twice with Wilco and once with Julian Lage, Scott Colley and Tom Rainey in a quartet called The Nels Cline Four.

Nancy and Beth - Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt
nancyandbeth.com


  The Solid Sound Festival - Wilco’s music and art festival, invades MASS MoCA’s newly expanded campus in North Adams, MA this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, the first act will take the stage in Courtyard C -- and that act is Nancy And Beth.

 

You may know them better as Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt. The former of Will and Grace and Parks and Recreation fame with a number of Broadway shows on her CV and the latter an Austin-based musician with the band Ghost Songs and cast member on the much loved TV series Friday Night Lights.

 

Mullally and Hunt as Nancy And Beth released their self-titled debut in April.

 

MASS MoCA's Building 6 Draws A Crowd

May 31, 2017
MASS MoCA Building 6
JD Allen / WAMC

Mass MoCA doubled in size on Sunday with the opening of Building 6. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen was one of thousands of people in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Mass MoCA To Open Building 6

May 26, 2017
Building 6 (Robert W. Wilson Building) at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

Mass MoCA in North Adams will double in size Sunday with the opening of Building 6.

JOE WARDWELL - HELLO AMERICA: 40 HITS FROM THE 50 STATES at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

  This Sunday, May 28th, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA will open Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building, to the public. This beyond-grand-opening doubles the vast museum’s exhibition space and features long-term exhibitions and collaborations with global leaders in contemporary art.

In this audio tour, MASS MoCA Curator Denise Markonish tells us about work by Barbara Ernst Prey, Louise Bourgeois, Metabolic Studio/Optics Division, Robert Rauschenberg, Dawn DeDeaux, Lonnie Holley, Laurie Anderson, Gunnar Schonbeck, Mary Lum, Janice Kerbel, and James Turrell; Allie Foradas describes work by Jenny Holzer, and James Wardwell tells us about "Hello America: 40 Hits from the 50 States." 

MASS MoCA's daylong celebration to mark the opening of Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building - including welcoming remarks from museum director Joseph Thompson; a Nick Cave Soundsuit performance, Brooklyn United Marching Band and CAKE in concert on Joe’s Field.

Building 6 (Robert W. Wilson Building) at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

MASS MoCA opens its newly renovated Building 6 this Sunday, giving the North Adams Campus – catch this - more gallery space than any other contemporary art museum in the country. The campus has always been big in scale and rambling. Now, we get more of a great thing.

Building 6 adds 105-Thousand square feet of gallery space – consisting of three floors of galleries, production studios, virtual reality galleries, event and performance space.

An all-day celebration will celebrate the grand opening for the new building, which will showcase installations by art-world stars such as Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, and James Turrell. Museum director Joe Thompson is here to tell us more. 

Formed as a somewhat antagonistic answer to grunge, CAKE bounded onto the scene in the mid-nineties with songs like “Rock n’Roll Lifestyle,” “The Distance,” and a perhaps unexpectedly effective cover of Gloria Gaynor’s disco hit, “I Will Survive.”

In their 20+ years, John McCrea and company -- including signature trumpeting by Vince DiFiore -- have released 6 albums and toured all over the world.

They are playing two shows in our region over Memorial Day Weekend. First at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY on Friday, May 26 and then at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA on Sunday, May 28.

Sol Lewitt Installation at Mass MOCA

The five leading cultural organizations in the northern Berkshires have teamed up to help drive awareness and increase economic development and tourism in Western Massachusetts.

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