For Immediate Release
22 August 2017
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
with Underground Horns
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — 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 descend on Courtyard C for a dance party that will temporarily transform MASS MoCA into a Lagos nightclub. Six-piece Afro-Bhangra ensemble Underground Horns will start our annual end-of-summer blowout on Saturday, September 2, at 8pm. Last chance to see Nick Cave, too!
Underground System stands out as not only one of the few Afrobeat groups led by a female singer (and flautist), Domenica Fossati, but also for creating an eclectic, electrifying sound of its own. The 10 person juggernaut has ventured from its Fela Kuti roots to styles as diverse as Italian folk and baile funk, putting a New York City spin on a classic West African pop sound. This sonic world tour is of little surprise as the ensemble is made up of musicians with Filipino, Jewish/Brazilian, Motswana, and Japanese heritage, Fossati herself a black Italian-American hailing from Miami via Venezuela. Underground System’s recent single “Bella Ciao” is similarly global, hailed as a “a retro-futuristic dance floor ready interpretation of a Partisan anti-fascist Italian WWII anthem,” with three separate releases, it’s been remixed by electronic wunderkinds Archie Pelago, viral MC Kool A.D. (Das Racist), and received cult status on the dance floor all over the Mediterranean when played and remixed by Leo Mas in the Boiler Room on Ibiza. The bands hectic rhythms, blazing horns, and genre-splicing beats are matched by its jubilant stage presence, which it has brought to The Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Bowl, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, and WNYC among others.
Underground System will be joined by their neighbors, the Brooklyn based brass band Underground Horns. Literally New York City’s “underground horns,” the group began performing in the subway, infusing its Afro-funk Bhangra New Orleans grooves into the daily commutes of city goers. The ensemble’s 2009 debut record FUNK MONK was praised as “kick-ass dance music…that brushes up against psychedelia…with shots of funky brass juice” (AllAboutJazz). More recently The New York Jazz Record called the group “an unapologetic party band with brains.” Underground Horns has performed at Tudo é Jazz in Brazil, Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival, NYC Winter Jazz Festival, Dizzy’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, and regularly around NYC at nublu, the Blue Note, and Brooklyn Bowl.
Don’t miss the last chance to see Nick Cave’s Until in our Building 5 gallery before the show. The exhibition is on view at MASS MoCA through September 4. Galleries will remain open until 8pm on September 2.
Get ready to dance the night away when Underground System, with Underground Horns, brings their Afrobeat madness to MASS MoCA’s Courtyard C on Saturday, September 2, at 8pm. Dinner is available from Lickety Split before and during the show. A full bar serves Bright Ideas Brewing beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $5 for students and members, $10 in advance, and $16 day of. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams. The box office is open 10am to 6pm every day, with extended evening hours to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at massmoca.org. In the case of rain, the event will be moved inside to the Hunter Center.
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s summer 2017 events are available through this link.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, displaying, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. MASS MoCA nearly doubled its gallery space in spring 2017, with artist partnerships that include Laurie Anderson, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, Jenny Holzer, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and James Turrell.
Gallery admission is $20 for adults, $18 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is seasonal and currently on view. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit our website.
Summer Hours (through September 4)
10am to 6pm, Sundays–-Wednesdays
10am to 7pm, Thursdays–-Saturdays
After September 4
11am – 5pm, six days a week (closed Tuesdays)