Aaron Neville’s May 25 concert at Mass MoCA, together with the opening of three exhibitions, kicks off an active summer season at the North Adams
Aaron Neville’s May 25 concert at Mass MoCA, together with the opening of three exhibitions, kicks off an active summer season at the North Adams visual and performing arts venue. (Photo courtesy Mass MoCA)
Saturday May 4, 2013

NORTH ADAMS -- R&B superstar Aaron Neville will kick off Mass MoCA's 2013 summer season with a performance on May 25 at 8 p.m.

Charles Neville, now a resident of western Massachusetts, will perform with his brother.

From 5 to 7 p.m., there will be an opening reception celebrating three new exhibitions, "Guillaume Leblon: Under My Shoe," "Jason Middlebrook: My Landscape" and "Joseph Montgomery: Five Sets Five Reps."

Mass MoCA's galleries will be open until 7:30 p.m. before the show.

Aaron Neville's distinctive harmonies and voice emerged in the Calliope projects of New Orleans, where he and his three brothers were raised. He cut his teeth as the most recognizable of The Neville Brothers, the family band that performed together for years, earning countless fans and three Grammy Awards.

Neville's recent release, "My True Story," is a collection of classic doo-wop numbers. To create the album, Neville teamed up with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and the legendary Blue Note label producer, Don Was. Showcasing the old-school rhythm and blues that were the key influences throughout his career, Neville covers The Drifters, The Clovers, and Little Anthony and the Imperials.

"I attended the University of doo-wop-ology," Neville said in a news release. "Anything I do has got some doo-wop in it. It's just part of me -- it's the texture that I'm singing in, it's the endings, it's the harmonies.


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At 3 o'clock in the morning, I wake up with a doo-wop song going in my head, and I can't go back to sleep because I'm singing it over and over."

Tickets for Neville's Memorial Day weekend performance are $75 for premium seating, $49 for priority seating, $40 for orchestra seats, and $34 for mezzanine seats.

Neville's concert kicks off a summer of musical events that includes:

n Old Crow Medicine Show, May 28;

n Solid Sound, Wilco's music and arts festival, June 21-23;

n singer-songwriter Bettye LaVette, July 6;

n Bang on a Can Festival of Contemporary Music, beginning July 15;

n the Canadian-based Native American hip-hop and reggae band, A Tribe Called Red, Aug. 21;

n and FreshGrass Festival, Sept. 20-22, as well as MoCA's outdoor film and dance performances, programs for children and a special event Aug. 24 at North Adams' Harriman-West Airport featuring a screening of the film comedy "Airport!" along with a static display of antique cars and aircraft.

Mass MoCA's popular Alt Cabaret Series in Courtyard C will feature the 11-piece Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, June 1, and progressive-indie artist Gabriel Kahane, joined by Rob Moose of Bon Iver.

Tickets for all events are available through the Mass MoCA box office off Marshall Street. Tickets can also be charged by phone at (413) 662.2111 x1 during box office hours -- 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Tuesdays when the box office is closed -- or online at www.massmoca.org.