Unity Center to Present Rev. Yolanda's OLD TIME GOSPEL HOUR, 9/7
Multiple award winning recording and performance artist, Rev Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes, brings his gender bending celebration of old time Southern gospel and country gospel music to Unity Center, 3 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851, on Saturday, September 7th at 8:00 pm.
Roger has been touring the country for over 20 years as a performance artist and the past year and a half with "Rev Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour". The show features Rev. Yolanda (aka Roger) and the Yolandaleers (an old time gospel band - guitar, banjo, harmonica, fiddle, stand-up bass, & piano) with a special guest appearance by Joyful Noise! This 90 minute celebration takes us on a musical tour of Roger/Yolanda's transformational, spiritual journey. The Old Time Gospel Hour is a life affirming show, celebrating love and self-acceptance.
Rev. Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes - Roger/Yolanda is an accomplished, award-winning singer/songwriter and performance artist. Roger was born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama -The Hit Recording Capital of The World. He joined his first band, StaiNed Glass Bluegrass, when he was only 17 years old. At age 28 Roger moved to New York City and began exploring theater and performance art. During this exploration he spent some time living in the Radical Faerie Community in Vermont. It was during this time that Yolanda was born (1993)! Yolanda developed a loyal following with his/her original musical blend of rock, pop, country and jazz. Yolanda & The Plastic Family rocked the downtown scene in NYC celebrating the release of his first CD Yolanda & The Plastic Family. In 2003 Yolanda was awarded OutMusician of the Year for her solo "Lay All Your Love on Me" on the Abbalicious CD. Rev. Roger Anthony "Yolanda" Mapes was inducted into the GLBT Hall of Fame for Activism, Art Excellence and Community Awareness in 2005. It was around this time that Roger began a spiritual journey which led him to One Spirit Interfaith Seminary where he became an ordained Interfaith Minister in June of 2011. That same year "I Wanna Know" from House of Joy made it to #1 on the OutVoice Music Charts and "Love Divine" was included on a special first edition collection of GLBT Christian singer/songwriters. Rev. Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour was realized in January of 2012 and the release of yet another albumCountry Gospel Kirtan followed shortly thereafter. "Home" from that album is currently #1 on the OutVoice Music Charts. Roger can be seen on "Family Stories" for the Discovery Channel playing Vivian Wheeler (the original bearded lady) and a feature film about him by director Ike Allen is set to be released in early 2014. Visit www.yolanda.net for more information.
Shawn Moninger (Director) - Shawn enjoyed a successful 20 year career as a lighting and sound designer in New York nightclubs. He won four MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) and a Backstage Bistro Award all for Outstanding Technical Direction. He began performing stand-up comedy for which he was also nominated for a MAC Award. Shawn currently hosts his own radio show TheGoodShow.com on WGCH 1490AM and is the Spiritual Leader at Unity Center in Norwalk, CT.
Kenneth Gartman (Music Director/Arranger/Pianist/Vocalist) - Theatre: Inner Voices III: Arlington (Off-Broadway); Broadcast (Eugene O'Neill Musical Theater Conference, 2013); Bryan Putnam's The ToyMaker (Eugene O'Neill Musical Theater Conference, 2012); Zapata! The Musical (NYMF2012) and subsequent cast recording; Once Removed, a new musical with music by Graham Russell of Air Supply;Show Choir! the Musical (NYMF2010); The ToyMaker (NYMF2009) and subsequent cast recording;Trouble in Shameland (FringeNYC) and subsequent cast recording. Cabaret/Concerts: Rev. Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour, Joshing Around, Unity Benefit Concerts, Concerts for City Greens, Cabaret Cares,The Salon Open Mic(Host/Co-Host), A Ballsy Christmas Open Mic (Host). Singer/Performer: Kenneth Gartman...Not Like the Other Cavemen (cabaret debut), National Tour of The Music Man; Side by Side by Sondheim; Simply Sondheim LIVE! (BBC Broadcast); and A New York Songbook: Way Off Broadway. For more information, visit www.KennethGartman.com.