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Rev. Yolanda Performs at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Saturday, March 21

Rev. Yolanda - Photo Courtesy Facebook
Rev. Yolanda – Photo Courtesy Facebook

Rev. Yolanda’s Old Time Gospel Hour ‘Unplugged’ will be performed at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 381 East King Street in Boone on Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 pm. The performance is free and open to the community. A love offering will be collected and a reception will follow.

Rev.Yolanda aka Roger Anthony Mapes is the 2014 recipient of The MAC Award (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) for Best Drag Artist and was recently inducted in the New York City Blues Hall of Fame. An accomplished, award-winning singer/songwriter, performance artist, and Interfaith Minister, 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 in Vermont with his/her original musical blend of rock, pop, country and jazz with her band Yolanda & The Plastic Family . They 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 , and recorded a critically acclaimed solo cover of the ABBA tune “Lay All Your Love on Me” on the Abbalicious CD (FigJam Records).

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/Yolanda began a spiritual journey which led him/her to One Spirit Interfaith Seminary where s/he became Rev.Yolanda, an ordained Interfaith Minister in June of 2011.  That same year the song “I Wanna Know” from her cd 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 -the live, autobiographical Gospel Music show was realized in January of 2012 and the release of yet another album Country Gospel Kirtan followed shortly thereafter “Home” from that album was voted the #1 song of 2013 on the OutVoice Music Charts.

Rev. Yolanda has also been seen on “Family Stories” for the Discovery Channel playing Vivian Wheeler (the current Guiness Book of World Record-holder for bearded lady), and a feature film about his/her life by director Ike Allen was released September 2014.

Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is very pleased to bring Rev. Yolanda and husband Rev. Glen Ganaway to Boone for this performance and for two additional presentations on Sunday morning March 22.   ‘”Rev. Yolanda’s message of love, gender transcendence, affirmation, and inspiration resonates with Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and our affirmation of the Unitarian Universalist principles, especially the first principle – The inherent worth and dignity of every person.” states Rev. Tommy Brown, ministry consultant at BUUF. Brown continues, “I first experienced Rev. Yolanda’s performance at the Wildgoose Festival in Hot Springs, NC last summer.   It is so much more than a drag performance – she is authentic, beautiful, and inspiring. I’m so excited Yolanda is coming to BUUF and pleased we are able to share this with the Boone community.”

Seating for the performance and presentations are limited and available on an arrival basis. There will be an audio/video link available in Founder’s House for each. Parking is also somewhat limited at BUUF though arrangements have been made in designated nearby lots.   The general community is welcome and BUUF asks everyone to come open and respectful to the music and the message that Rev. Yolanda is coming to share.