MASS MoCA Announces Summer Season of Concerts & More

April 19th, 2017, 9:00 am by Greg
Booker T. Jones

Memphis soul great Booker T. Jones heads to MASS MoCA

Photograph by Ed Conway

In North Adams, the already massive MASS MoCA is about to double its gallery space with the Sunday, May 28 grand opening of the 130,000 square foot Building 6, featuring major new exhibitions and installations by James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol LeWitt and more.

And MASS MoCA is also expanding its performance offerings for the upcoming summer season. The museum has previously announced a number of high wattage performances – including outdoor concerts by the rock band Cake (Sunday, May 28) and My Morning Jacket (Saturday, August 12), as well as the return of the big multi-day music festivals Solid Sound (June 23-25) and FreshGrass (September 15-17), but now they’ve upped the ante with a summer-long schedule of concerts, films, theater, a dance party and lots more.

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Tickets for the newly announced events are now on sale, and if you purchase tickets by Wednesday, May 3, the early-bird price includes a 25% discount.

Here’s the schedule of newly announced performance events for MASS MoCA’s 2017 summer season:

MUSIC: MIL’S TRILLS
Saturday, June 17, 2pm
$8 in advance; $10 at the door; $5 kids & students
MASS MoCA’s Club B10
Mil’s Trills is voice and bass and brass and drums — a cornucopia of kid-friendly music. Led by Amelia Robinson, the the children’s music group’s 2014 debut album, Everyone Together Now!, was praised for its “boundless energy and enthusiasm” by The List.

STORYTELLING: RISK!
Saturday, July 1, 8pm
MASS MoCA’s Dré Pavilion
Tune in as host Keith Allison leads a cathartic, laugh-out-loud, anything-goes kind of storytelling smorgasbord uncovering and recording the daring truths of RISK!, as the performance is recorded for podcasting and posterity. Special guests (TBA) join in for a night of jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, gut-wrenching stories.

MUSIC: JOAN OSBORNE SINGS THE SONGS OF BOB DYLAN
Friday, July 7, 8pm
$25 in advance; $35 at the door; $45 preferred; $25 students
MASS MoCA’s Courtyard C (Rainsite: Hunter Center)
As The New York Times has declared, “Like Bonnie Raitt, a musician to whom she has often been compared, Ms. Obsborne is a fiercely intelligent, no-nonsense singer-songwriter who is allergic to traditional pop sentimentality, though hardly devoid of feeling… She treats Mr. Dylan as fellow troubadour and roustabout, inventing the rules while traveling along an endless road. Mr. Dylan’s songs are so deeply ingrained in the culture, it’s a wonder more singers haven’t devoted entire concerts to his songs.”

FILM/MUSIC: “MAD MAX” WITH LIVE SOUNDTRACK BY MORRICONE YOUTH
Saturday, July 15, 8:30pm
$20 in advance; $26 at the gate; $32 preferred; $16 students
Courtyard C (Rainsite: Hunter Center)
The 1979 cult classic “Mad Max” shaped the way we think about our dystopian future, in which desolate, post-apocalyptic landscapes are the backdrop for a wild ride of feuds and vengeance. Now the film is matched up with a new, original score performed live by the NYC ensemble, Morricone Youth, for an outdoor screening.

MUSIC: BOOKER T. JONES
Saturday, July 22, 8pm
$20 in advance: $26 at the gate; $32 preferred; $16 students
Courtyard C (Rainsite: Hunter Center)
From his early days as a Stax Records session player with the M.G.’s to his recent resurgence, the great keyboardist-guitarist has remained an ambassador of Memphis soul music for nearly 50 years. A Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Jones and his band visit the museum for a night of “Green Onions,” “Time Is Tight” and all your favorites.

MUSIC: BANG ON A CAN SUMMER FESTIVAL
KIDS CAN TOO
Saturday, July 22, 11:30am
$8
MASS MoCA’s Club B10
invites the whole family to
Play along with Bang on a Can faculty and fellows during this hands-on, kid-friendly musical exploration performance.
BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS’ “ROAD TRIP”
Saturday, July 29, 8pm
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $24 preferred; $12 students
MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center
Bang on a Can co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe have created an evening-length work about complicated journeys and people who make them. Directed by Michael Counts with rock show lighting and projections designed by CandyStations.
BANG ON A CAN MARATHON
Saturday, August 5, 4-10pm
$12 in advance; $18 at the door; $24 preferred; $12 students
MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center
More a musical happening than a concert, the Bang on a Can Marathon is an audacious festival closer and an adventurous listening experience. The disparate program includes works from Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Vanessa Lann, Julia Wolfe, Jeffrey Brooks and others.

MUSIC/ART: NONA HENDRYX & NICK CAVE
Saturday, August 19, 8pm
$30 in advance; $20 students
MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center
Exhibiting artist Nick Cave teams with legendary soul singer Nona Hendryx for an evening of music and art. Hendryx rose to prominence as one-third of the trio Labelle, and has continued to break barriers and defy expectations in the four decades since.
ALSO: $45 preferred ticket also includes an exclusive performance in the gallery amidst Cave’s “Until” exhibition.

MUSIC: ROOMFUL OF TEETH
Saturday, August 26, 8pm
$16 in advance; $22 at the door; $28 preferred; $16 students
MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center
Led by Williams College faculty member Brad Wells, the eight-voice ensemble of Grammy-winning vocal titans returns here to its summer home to create new works and hone techniques, culminating in a knock-out performance that stretches the boundaries of the human voice.

THEATER: ARTSLAND FESTIVAL
Thursday, August 24, 8pm
Friday, August 25, 6 & 8:30pm
Saturday, August 26, 3 & 6pm
Sunday, August 27, 3pm
$7.50 early bird tickets thru May 3; $10 thereafter; $8 students
MASS MoCA’s Club B10
One festival. Three projects. ArtsLand, a leading supporter of Russian theater tradition, brings three preeminent directors from Armenia, Russia and Uzbekistan to town. Distinct in their style and approach to work, Vahan Badalyan, Lev Erenburg and Boris Gafurov are similar in their commitment to live theater and their passion for ensemble acting. Each director will workshop one project with American actors.

FILM: “THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING”
Friday, August 25, 8pm (Rain date: Sunday, August 27, 8pm)
$7; $3 kids under age 12; or $14 per car
Harriman-West Airport, North Adams
The door of an airport hangar is transformed into the largest outdoor movie screen in Massachussetts, as submarines crash, station wagons run out of gas, and a human pyramid saves the day. This 1966 screwball comedy about the Cold War features a star-studded cast that propelled the film to Best Picture and Best Actor (Alan Arkin) honors at the Golden Globes.

MUSIC/DANCE PARTY: UNDERGROUND SYSTEM
With the Underground Horns
Saturday, September 2, 8pm
$10 in advance; $16 at the door; $5 students
MASS MoCA’s Courtyard C
Underground System is a collective of Fela Kuti-worshipping rabble-rousers and rhythm-makers. Based in Brooklyn and fronted by flautist and chanteuse Domenica Fossati, they will temporarily transform MASS MoCA into a Lagos nightclub. The six-piece Afro-Bhangra ensemble Underground Horns will kick off the end-of-summer blowout.