NORTH ADAMS-- MCLA Presents! will bring to the community a weekend of soulful sounds via New Orleans, Boston and the Berkshires as Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) hosts the Ninth Annual Blues and Funk Festival on Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Venable gymnasium.
Starting things off on Friday night, Boston's Jesse Dee, will bring his unique brand of retro R&B, creating instantly memorable melodies, according to Jonathan Secor, BCRC director.
Dee, is part of a school of young musicians who are embracing the style and stylizations of the R&B season in its prime. The Berkshire's Rebel Alliance and MCLA's Jazz Band under the direction of Jeff Link will open the evening.
Saturday night, New Orleans' Walter "Wolfman" Washington will return to North Adams with his searing guitar work and vocals that have defined the Crescent City's unique musical blend since he formed his first band in the 1970s, according to Secor.
MCLA Jazz Band and local trio T-Bone Daddy will open for the Saturday night performance.
"Something old, something new -- two great performers with nothing but the Blues! That's what we have for one and all in this year's annual Blues and Funk Festival at MCLA," Secor said. "Jesse Dee is someone we will start hearing about more and more, a great young performer in the ilk of James Hunter who is most definitely on the way up, having just signed on with Alligator Records. On the other end of the spectrum is the embodiment of old school Funk and Blues in Walter ‘Wolfman' Washington, a singer who has been playing since the 1950s with the likes of Lee Dorsey, and who still is rocking today, packing houses in New Orleans every week."
Tickets to the Blues and Funk Festival are $15 for a two-night combo pass or $10 for general admission each night. Non-MCLA student tickets are $5 each night. Tickets each night for MCLA alumni are $8, $5 for staff and faculty, and members and students enjoy free admission.
Food and drink will be available for purchase both nights. For reservations, call MCLA Presents! at (413) 662-5204. For more information, cann (413) 664-8718, or visit www.mcla.edu/presents