French-Cameroonian duo Les Nubians, known for a singular blend of warm R&B and francophone hip hop, will headline. MASS MoCA and O+ (pronounced O Positive) co-present Les Nubians’ performance at the museum’s Hunter Center on Saturday, May 11. The musician Spero (Burlington, Vt.), whose music is a blend of jazz, folk and world rhythms, will open for Les Nubians.
They are among nearly 20 musical acts and nine visual artists (mural, installation and performance) confirmed to participate in the festival’s unique exchange of the “art of medicine for the medicine of art.” The O+ North Adams and festival volunteers who donate their time and talent to the weekend receive free health and wellness care in an Artists’ Clinic staffed by local providers across disciplines.
North Adams-based painter Danielle Klebes will create a mural that focuses on the history of the mill town, its proximity to the Berkshires and its reputation as a burgeoning arts mecca. Other local artists participating in O+ North Adams include: Montague, Mass.-based B Kline (“Rage Drumming” participatory performance); and North Adams artists Daniel O’Connor (“Homies” paintings and hometown postcards); Erica Barreto (“Creativity Capsule” participatory arts event); John Ryan (“Baggage” cabaret style puppet performance); Petros Chrisostomou (“Still Here/Still Alive” exhibition of large-scale photographic works); and Dalton James (“Objects of Significance” installation). And Zoe Villane will design a commemorative T-shirt for the inaugural festival.
Alumni of other O+ festival cities are among the participating artists: Vince Ballentine of Brooklyn, N.Y. will paint a mural inspired by the Hoosac Tunnel and Jessica Poser of South Hadley, Mass. will present “Rupture and Repair,” a participatory installation exploring some of the psychological aspects of creativity.
The initial music lineup includes:
Quincy – Band (North Adams) – mix of country, folk, bluegrass and indie rock
HOME BODY (Greenfield, MA) – electronic/experimental pop
Hill Haints (Berkshire County) – post-punk/no wave
Mamma’s Marmalade (Northampton, MA) – newgrass
Nick Stanley (North Adams, MA) – Singer/songwriter
Lexi Weege And The Wondertwins (Westfield, MA) – hot jazz circus rock
Jagweed (Ludlow Vt) – banjo punk
Julia Caesar (Burlington, Vt) – indie femme rock
BLOOD BLUSH (Brooklyn) -post-punk/dream-goth
Frenchy and the Punk (New Paltz, N.Y.) – cabaret/folk rock
JB aka Dirty Moses (Albany, NY) – hip hop/rap
Kortnee Simmons (Kingston NY) – R&B
MSL (Beacon, N.Y.) – Dream Pop
Belle-Skinner (Delmar, N.Y.) – rock/indie
Matthew Fowler (Gainesville FL) – singer/songwriter
Erica Eso (Brooklyn NY) – synth pop
Mutant Forest (Brooklyn NY) – immersive electronic
The O+ North Adams music team expects to make some exciting additions to the lineup closer to the festival weekend. Venues include Common Folk, North Adams Elks 487, The Green and the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA.
An all-access festival wristband includes admission to all the concerts (including Les Nubians) and art happenings as well as an EXPLO+RE series of classes that include meditation, stress management, Tai chi, Pilates and more.
MASS MoCA is opening up its doors to volunteer providers, who will build and staff the Artists’ Clinic on May 11 of the festival weekend.
Berkshire Health Systems is the lead sponsor of O+ North Adams. The growing list of partners includes the City of North Adams, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Common Folk, Golden Paintworks and MASS MoCA.
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