MASS MoCA Announces Summer Season of Concerts, Films, More

Some of the big events for MASS MoCA’s summer season have already been announced – including a concert by Beck in June and the fourth annual FreshGrass festival in September. But the sprawling contemporary art museum is celebrating its 15th anniversary on Memorial Day Weekend, so you can bet the summer is jam-packed with music, theater, film, kids’ events and more, all kicking off with a big party on Saturday, May 15.

Here’s a round-up of the newly announced events for MASS MoCA’s 15th anniversary summer season:

Celebrate 15 years!
Saturday, May 24, 2014, 4pm-12midnight
$30 general admission; $45 gold star supporters receive 15th anniversary schwag
4-6pm: Opening reception for Teresita Fernández’s exhibit “As Above So Below”
4pm: Silent auction
6pm: Food truck courtyard and bars (buy your own)
7pm: DJ Rekha
8:30pm: Red Baraat
10:30pm: DJ Rekha
With a variety of MASS MoCA faves also offering pop-up concerts throughout the celebration.

Saturday, June 7, 8pm
Courtyard Café or Club B-10
$20 preferred; $12 in advance; $16 at the door
Fredericks Brown consists of powerhouse singer-songwriter Deva Mahal — daughter of the legendary blues musician Taj Mahal — and New Zealand-born songwriter/keys player Stephanie Brown. The pair’s rich cultural and musical heritage comes through in songs steeped in African- American roots music with a Pacific Island flair and alive with honesty, vulnerability, and celebration. They have worked with or performed alongside Etta James, The Roots, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Patti Smith, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Common, and Kanye West, among many others.

Saturday, June 14, 2pm
Club B-10
The cast of Hudson Vagabond Puppets brings its giant and colorful puppetry to MASS MoCA with a vivid rendition of the 1938 picture book classic Caps for Sale. Don’t forget to stop by Kidspace for the opening of It’s Only Human before the show! Great for ages 3 – 10, and parents too!

Thursday, July 3, 8:30pm; Rain date: July 6
$7; $3 kids 16 & under; or $14 per carload
NOTE: This event is held at Harriman-West Airport, North Adams, not at MASS MoCA
7pm gates, grills and bar open; no coolers; free gliders for first 100 kids
Continuing our tradition of flight-themed movies on a massive airplane hangar screen, Ron Howard’s nail-biting, dramatization of the ill-fated 1970 mission to the moon makes for ideal summer night viewing. With a stellar cast that includes Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, and Kevin Bacon, the film won two Oscars and was nominated for seven more — blast off into the 4th of July weekend with us!

Saturday, July 5, 8pm
Courtyard Café or Club B-10
$20 preferred; $12 in advance; $16 at the door
A time-tested parlor game hits the stage for an evening of American history-themed tall tales and torqued realities. Led by a hilarious troupe of Brooklyn storytellers, the audience has to decipher truth from lies — and the prize goes to the most successful tricksters.

Saturday, July 12, 8:30pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$25 preferred; $15 in advance; $20 at the door
Inspired by our collective fascination with The Guinness Book of World Records, filmmaker Sam Green traveled across the world to gather footage of record-holding(and nearly record- holding) people and places. The result is a fascinating “live documentary” film and performance featuring Green’s narration and an original live score by indie-classical chamber ensemble yMusic.

Saturday, July 19, 8pm
Courtyard Café or Club B-10
$20 preferred; $12 in advance; $16 at the door
This Zimbabwean contemporary folk star is among the most captivating and original singer-songwriters to emerge on the world music scene in a decade. Bono, one of her scores of champions, calls her “anarchic and joyous, thoughtful and mischievous.” Netsayi combines some of our favorite sounds: think Joan Armatrading meets Angélique Kidjo. See her here before you see her everywhere.

Saturday, August 9, 8:30pm
Courtyard Café or Club B-10
$25 preferred; $15 in advance: $20 at the door
Perennial MASS MoCA favorite, Alloy Orchestra, returns with a signature live score to the 1924 classic He Who Gets Slapped, the tragic tale of a brilliant scientist who loses his research — and his wife — to a dishonest man and becomes a circus clown with a very peculiar act. The only thing more outrageous than leading man Lon Chaney is Alloy Orchestra’s soulful, grinding soundtrack.

Friday, August 15, 8pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$24 in advance; $30 at the door
One-time Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell writes open -hearted songs full of storm and drama, bursting with personal truths, and echoing with the southern sound of his Alabama upbringing. Last year’s Southeastern, his fourth solo record, was a critical success and commercial breakthrough. He’s been touring with Ray LaMontagne, Willie Nelson, and Alison Krauss — add a little bit of thunder and that’s a good indicator of his sound.

Saturday, August 16, 8pm
Courtyard Café or Club B-10
$20 preferred; $12 in advance; $16 at the door
Composers Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow are MASS MoCA veterans and NYC indie music stalwarts, weaving dream pop and noir landscapes together for fifteen years and nine records. Always keen collaborators, their past and present bandmates include Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett and everyone in Jeff Buckley’s band. Pitchfork touts their “forbidding cocktail dress cool” while others detect a young Serge Gainsbourg in their sultry, hazy delivery.

Saturday, August 23, 8pm
Courtyard Café or Club B-10
$20 preferred; $12 in advance; $16 at the door
Foot-stomping zydeco collides with fist-pumping rock ‘n’ roll when the Lost Bayou Ramblers joins us from Louisiana with a modern edge on traditional Cajun music. Opening for Arcade Fire this spring, the band’s latest album, Mammoth Waltz (featuring Dr. John and Scarlett Johannson), earned a Grammy nomination for its primal grit.

Friday, August 29, 8pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$25 preferred; $15 in advance; $20 at the door
Upon receiving a 2014 Grammy, Roomful of Teeth director Brad Wells said, “We wouldn’t have this album without our work at MASS MoCA.” We’re so proud to have them back! This season listen for Hindustani and Persian singing styles, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s Ritornello with film, and compositions by MASS MoCA and FreshGrass favorite, Sam Amidon. Work-in-progress.

Saturday, August 30, 8pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$10 in advance; $15 at the door
EMEFE (as in M.F.A. — Music Frees All) is a ten-piece soul-funk- everything band on a mission to prove there are no bad days, only days that need a new soundtrack. The blazing rhythms and bright sound, recalling Afrobeat godfather, Fela Kuti, will bounce off the bricks in our concert courtyard to ensure a good day — or at least a good night!

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