Rev.Yolanda
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Rev.Yolanda

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
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"Give Me That New Time Religion . . . Amen!"

Rev. Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes, The Duplex, December 16, Give Me That New Time Religion . . . Amen!

If Tammy Faye Baker was a flaming social liberal who looked like a middle linebacker and sang in a Prairie Home Companion show at the Grand Ole Opry that was broadcast over NPR-breath-she'd be Roger Anthony Mapes doing Rev. Yolanda's Old-Time Gospel Hour. Over many shows this past fall at The Duplex (with one more on January 20 at 3:30), veteran singer, songwriter, performance artist, and flamboyant drag queen Roger Mapes conjured up a life-affirming and spiritually-enlightened show offering a message of tolerance, self-acceptance, freedom, peace and love, all wrapped in the unabashed glory of gospel music, some of which were original songs featured on his/her recently released CD. This was a show even a lapsed Jew who is straight could love.

Wearing a neon blue suit with black stripes, a reddish blonde bouffant wig as tall as a small Christmas tree ("the higher the hair, the closer to God"), and more makeup than all the Kardashian women combined, Rev. Yolanda opened with a joyous, old-fashioned gospel hoedown song, the oft-recorded "I'll Fly Away." An engaging story-teller who obviously knows how to work patter into a cabaret show, Rev. Yolanda than offered a timely, self-deprecating audience thank you. "If you're one of the those people who believe the Mayan calendar says the world is going to end next week, I'm glad you made this one of your last shows."

With support from a heavenly band she calls the "Yolandaleers" (led by Musical Director Kenneth Gartman on piano, Dennis Michael Keefe on bass, Justin Smith on violin, veteran Bill Turner on banjo, and the Reverend occasionally on guitar), Rev. Yolanda gave musical testimony through songs like the gospel ballad "Do Lord," the uptempo "Step Back (and Let God Do It)," featuring nice backing vocals from Gartman, classics like "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" (the "Thou" signifying the audience as much as God), and snippets of "Down By the Riverside" and "Let It Shine" during a fun sing-along finale. Rev. Yolanda's fine originals from the CD were sprinkled throughout, including Smith's lovely violin riff on "Love Divine," the cool, country-infused "I Can See Peace," and the rousing gospel rock song "Freedom." For an encore to this wonderfully entertaining, 90-minute faux radio show, the Reverend delivered a divinely-inspired lyric: "We are angels, we are angels, and we're struggling to be human." Amen - Stephen Hanks for Broadway World .com


"REV. YOLANDA!"

REV. YOLANDA!

Roger Mapes has created a character so abundant in talent, good will and humor that by the time he's finished with you there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with your world--at all. The music and the accompanying singers just add to the magic.

Susan Hasho reviewer for the Times Square Chronicles
- Susan Hasho reviewer for the Times Square Chronicles


"“Freedom’s Just Another Word For Nothin’ Left To Lose”"



Posted on June 5, 2012

Sunday evening I had the privilege of sharing a moment in the amazing cabaret performance “Rev. Yolanda’s Gospel Hour” at the Duplex on Christopher Street in NYC. Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes is a performance artist and social critic and deeply gifted singer songwriter…a man in a dress, joyously singing the Good News.The core of Roger’s message is about love. ..and about his faith and his journey to express the full range of his gender expression. It is an inspiring show, and he is an inspiring person.

The story I told in my section was about the different layers of meaning in the slave songs, which used the metaphor of the biblical Exodus story and various cues to send instructions about the Underground Railroad. Wade in the Water is one such song. While referring on the surface to the biblical book of John telling of the angel “troubling the waters” to turn them into a healing stream, the undercurrent, or meta message- was a warning to step into the water when running from the slave masters, so that the bloodhounds would lose the scent. They were sung in plain day, but a revolutionary message was being sung.

In 1965, Jose Sarria, a gay man who lived in San Francisco, CA sang at The Black Cat, a rather famous gay bar. He incorporated similar hints and instructions through his lyrics…warning people in a cabaret about news of raids on gathering places of gay people. He was using the creativity of the oppressed, who are not smashed into silence by their condition, but are able to find a song to sing which frees their soul, and ministers to others at the same time. Mother Jose, later founded the Imperial Court, which is one of the largest philanthropic ongoing organizations in the U.S.

This double meaning is the root of the power of much of gospel music. It isn’t about just feel in’ good. It is about resisting the silencing of those who would muzzle and accessing the power of the Spirit right out loud, which is the very Ruach, the breath of life.

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, in his recent book, “God, Gays and Guns; Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy”, makes the analogy which so many in the African American church have vociferously denied- between the oppression of citizens of color in the U.S., and the continued oppression of LGBTQ persons. With his roots in the historic black Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, Rev. Sekou is in a unique position to bring this critique forward. He spoke recently at West Park Presbyterian Church in NYC, with Dr. Cornell West, and these two intellectual giants unpacked this idea that LGBTQ persons have become the new n-word…the latest sub group of U.S. society to be ok to torment and oppress. And these two African American intellectuals were able to discuss what I as a white woman can only say with measured breath…that it is appalling that the connection between the oppression of people of color and LGBTQ persons is hotly denied by many in the black church. And that not only denial but active harm is being done “in the name of Jesus”, to so many young people in that community who dare not allow the full flowering of their individuality to come forth. The risk of ostracism, condemnation and worse is simply too great.

And so as I stood on the stage of the duplex, and looked into the beautiful faces of the gathered group of Sanctuary NYC members and many new friends, I felt a sense of great hope. I was honored to be performing, if even for a second, with Rev. Yolanda and her amazing band. And I felt God all over that place. Fifty years ago the gathering would have been illegal. As with slave gatherings for worship in the brush arbor, the gathering was so recently punishable by arrest or worse, that the feeling of doing something secret is still present. Meeting, like in the praise houses in the middle of a field of cotton, to re-fuel for the week spent in a world in which “freedom-to-be” isn’t yet a full reality, the place was packed and the joy was tangible.

Right down the street from the place where the Stonewall riot burst forth in 1969, a diverse group of straight, LGBTQ, African American, Latino, European …whatever… All God’s Children-were loudly singing along to “I Come to the Garden Alone”, And ‘Just A Closer walk With Thee” and “How Great Thou Art” Harmonies rang out. Faces gleamed with the joy of praising a connection to a God who loves…And I could see these same folk as children…some of them the most devout and serious lovers of God, in their churches at a Sunday evening hymn sing in Kentucky or Missouri…We all knew all the words. And Rev. Yolanda brought us together, in high heels and a fabulous wig and a heart filled with love- to get our shout on. We had church.

- Rev. Jane Galloway of www.SanctuaryNYC.org


"“Freedom’s Just Another Word For Nothin’ Left To Lose”"



Posted on June 5, 2012

Sunday evening I had the privilege of sharing a moment in the amazing cabaret performance “Rev. Yolanda’s Gospel Hour” at the Duplex on Christopher Street in NYC. Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes is a performance artist and social critic and deeply gifted singer songwriter…a man in a dress, joyously singing the Good News.The core of Roger’s message is about love. ..and about his faith and his journey to express the full range of his gender expression. It is an inspiring show, and he is an inspiring person.

The story I told in my section was about the different layers of meaning in the slave songs, which used the metaphor of the biblical Exodus story and various cues to send instructions about the Underground Railroad. Wade in the Water is one such song. While referring on the surface to the biblical book of John telling of the angel “troubling the waters” to turn them into a healing stream, the undercurrent, or meta message- was a warning to step into the water when running from the slave masters, so that the bloodhounds would lose the scent. They were sung in plain day, but a revolutionary message was being sung.

In 1965, Jose Sarria, a gay man who lived in San Francisco, CA sang at The Black Cat, a rather famous gay bar. He incorporated similar hints and instructions through his lyrics…warning people in a cabaret about news of raids on gathering places of gay people. He was using the creativity of the oppressed, who are not smashed into silence by their condition, but are able to find a song to sing which frees their soul, and ministers to others at the same time. Mother Jose, later founded the Imperial Court, which is one of the largest philanthropic ongoing organizations in the U.S.

This double meaning is the root of the power of much of gospel music. It isn’t about just feel in’ good. It is about resisting the silencing of those who would muzzle and accessing the power of the Spirit right out loud, which is the very Ruach, the breath of life.

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, in his recent book, “God, Gays and Guns; Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy”, makes the analogy which so many in the African American church have vociferously denied- between the oppression of citizens of color in the U.S., and the continued oppression of LGBTQ persons. With his roots in the historic black Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, Rev. Sekou is in a unique position to bring this critique forward. He spoke recently at West Park Presbyterian Church in NYC, with Dr. Cornell West, and these two intellectual giants unpacked this idea that LGBTQ persons have become the new n-word…the latest sub group of U.S. society to be ok to torment and oppress. And these two African American intellectuals were able to discuss what I as a white woman can only say with measured breath…that it is appalling that the connection between the oppression of people of color and LGBTQ persons is hotly denied by many in the black church. And that not only denial but active harm is being done “in the name of Jesus”, to so many young people in that community who dare not allow the full flowering of their individuality to come forth. The risk of ostracism, condemnation and worse is simply too great.

And so as I stood on the stage of the duplex, and looked into the beautiful faces of the gathered group of Sanctuary NYC members and many new friends, I felt a sense of great hope. I was honored to be performing, if even for a second, with Rev. Yolanda and her amazing band. And I felt God all over that place. Fifty years ago the gathering would have been illegal. As with slave gatherings for worship in the brush arbor, the gathering was so recently punishable by arrest or worse, that the feeling of doing something secret is still present. Meeting, like in the praise houses in the middle of a field of cotton, to re-fuel for the week spent in a world in which “freedom-to-be” isn’t yet a full reality, the place was packed and the joy was tangible.

Right down the street from the place where the Stonewall riot burst forth in 1969, a diverse group of straight, LGBTQ, African American, Latino, European …whatever… All God’s Children-were loudly singing along to “I Come to the Garden Alone”, And ‘Just A Closer walk With Thee” and “How Great Thou Art” Harmonies rang out. Faces gleamed with the joy of praising a connection to a God who loves…And I could see these same folk as children…some of them the most devout and serious lovers of God, in their churches at a Sunday evening hymn sing in Kentucky or Missouri…We all knew all the words. And Rev. Yolanda brought us together, in high heels and a fabulous wig and a heart filled with love- to get our shout on. We had church.

- Rev. Jane Galloway of www.SanctuaryNYC.org


"I just saw the most brilliant cabaret show !"

"I just saw the most brilliant cabaret show; A Drag Queen whose character is a southern country gospel singer. In real life, he is very connected to his faith, and the show is presented with amazing bluegrass arrangements of so many songs we have sung in Church. I had such a conflict with Church because of certain beliefs, but this character allows us to enjoy the music and see someone praise God in a unique beautiful way, which ironically, in the end is the way it should be. Although I'm not a huge listener of gospel, there was a piano, banjo, harmonica, bass and fiddle and each musician had a great voice too. It's where religion should come from! And I am not religious- but I have worked in Churches on and off. The show was was such a cool concept and way to peacefully demonstrate love through religion. Thank you to Reverend Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes for such a great perspective and for being so deeply moving onstage." - Facebook - Carly Ozard August 26, 2012


"DAVID FRIEDMAN (composer of current Broadway show "Scandalous") sez:"

"LOVED your show! You are well on your way to creating a character the

likes of which Bette Midler, Divine, Dolly Parton, Phyllis Diller, etc.

created. Someone who is iconic, funny, loveable, and has a story to tell that is larger than life and yet touches everyone.

If this woman/man could make it to self-acceptance and gratitude, so can we, WHATEVER is going on in our lives and WHOEVER we are. This loveable and talented character whom you have created is YOU. The more you step into it, the more you understand the IMPORTANCE and POWER of who this woman/man is and what his/her story has to offer us, the bigger this show will get.

Oh yeah, and you sing great too! Congratulations. You have a hit on your hands.

The wig alone is worth the price of admission." - Yolanda.net-a personal email from David Friedman (used with his permission)


"HUFFINGTON POST- Holy Rollers (in Her Hair): An Interview With Rev. Yolanda Mapes"

With her blond bouffant, ample bosom, and meticulous lipstick, Yolanda Mapes might look like a stereotypical church matron, but the five o'clock shadow and big-boned feet betray the truth: she's no lady. Billing herself as the "alien love child of Louise Hay and John Waters with a splash of Dolly Parton," this cross-dressing minister of God brings her sassy brand of gospel music to New York City this month with a series of musical performances at the Duplex Cabaret.

Reverend Roger Anthony Mapes, the man behind Yolanda's thick pancake makeup, sat down for an interview with me this week.

Stroud: How do you describe yourself when you're dressed as Yolanda?

Mapes: Well, for easy reference, I'd say drag performer, although really what I am is a man in a dress. I'm not trying to necessarily give you realness or make you think that I'm a woman. I'm just having fun.

Stroud: Do you dress as Yolanda off stage?

Mapes: Not really, no. I'll show up in church with a little bit of makeup and glitter, but I'm not a person that sits around at home dressed up. It's about special occasions and performing is definitely a special occasion.

Stroud: How did Yolanda come into the world?

Mapes: On a dare. My cousin lives here in New York--we both moved here from Alabama--but one year we were having a gay pride party and he dared me to get dressed up and come back in drag. When I walked in, he just stood up and said, "Yolanda!" It just was so funny, it stuck.

Stroud: The Deep South can be a tough place for queer folk. How was your childhood?

Mapes: I loved growing up in my family--and in Alabama.

Stroud: When did you realize you were gay?

Mapes: Oh, the day I had consciousness!

Stroud: How did your family and friends react?

Mapes: It wasn't reflected back to me in a way that bothered me because I didn't care what anybody thought. If you think there's something wrong with me, it's your problem. That doesn't mean I didn't get my feelings hurt. When I journeyed through the traditional Christian church, it did hurt my feelings that I was rejected.

Stroud: What happened?

Mapes: I moved to a Christian commune when I was 18 years old, and I fell in love with my roommate. That was the first time I had ever really experienced a sexual feeling of any kind, like I wanted to have...a sexual act. Of course, that was not acceptable, and it caused a problem. I had to leave. So, that was the first time that I really understood there was something culturally bothersome about having a same-sex attraction. I went on to college after that. But I wound up falling in love with my big brother at the Sigma Kappa Fraternity. I just, I couldn't help myself. I would have crushes on guys. Finally, I just moved to New York City and found the gay community.

Stroud: How old were you?

Mapes: I was about 25. I was graduated from college and had gotten a Master's in Theater and I moved to New York to become a star.

Stroud: When did your interest in music start?

Mapes: When I was really young. We used to gather around the piano in my house and sing gospel songs. I loved going to church. I was in gospel bands from early on--from the time I was 16 until right before I moved to New York City. I've always been a spiritual person, and so really all I ever wanted to do was be a music minister. As I went on in my life and became involved in theater, I realized that performing is a ministry.

Stroud: When you arrived in Manhattan, did you have to go into the closet about your faith?

Mapes: Yes! I put my spiritual aspirations on hold. My sexuality was awakened in a way I had never experienced before when I moved to New York City. [Laughs.] There were tons of gay men in the city, so I wanted to get my share. I did, and I wound up, you know, having HIV.

That whole journey of exploring my sexuality sort of took me away from my spiritual aspirations because I thought that that's how it had to be. I didn't realize until I began to read Louise Hay and find out about Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles. I didn't realize that the two things, spirituality and sexuality, could be one thing.

Stroud: For anybody who doesn't know Louise Hay and Marianne Williamson, what are their messages?

Mapes: God is in you. You are a divine expression of God. You don't need to be saved--there's nothing wrong with you. Everything that you're seeking is inside of you. And so, as Louise was beginning to come to the forefront because of the AIDS epidemic--all over the place, and certainly here in New York, I began to go to meetings and learn affirmations and also went to hear Marianne Williamson speak. This was a new message, different than I had heard from the traditional Pentecostal church that I grew up in.

Stroud: You were talking about A Course in Miracles. How has it affected your life?

Mapes: My husband and I started studying it many years ago together and it has affected my life in amazing ways. I'll say it this - HUFFINGTON POST- Gay Voices by Court Stroud


"CABARET HOTLINE: REV. YOLANDA'S OLD TIME GOSPEL HOUR ... A GENDER BENDING GOSPEL CELEBRATION"

As a reviewer it's always hard to recommend a show of a religious nature because if I tell my readers to go and they are non-believers it can be awkward. However, since the main "religious" message in this wonderful show is that you are PERFECT exactly as you are (OK, in this show, exactly as God made you) all I can tell you is that you will leave this show feeling JOY and incredibly impressed by Rev. Yolanda and this band. This band, led by Kenneth Gartman is one of the best and tightest groups I've heard in years. Add to this the additional impressive harmonies by Kenneth and super fiddler Emily Mikesell and you get gooseflesh from the sound alone. Bill Turner on banjo and back up vocals and Dennis Michael Keefe on bass also impressed. Just Fantastic! Props go to Director/Rev. Shawn Moninger for incredible attention to detail on this show!

About the lovely Yolanda (she looks like Boo Boo Honey or is that Honey Boo Boo? all grown up) ... anyone who states "The higher the hair the closer to Jesus" will be my friend forever. While this is a man in a lovely dress, I think Rev. Yolanda could charm even the Republican Convention! You cannot help yourself. You love this lady and you love her message and your face hurts from smiling. She also has an incredible voice. Does this sound like a show you'd like to see? Then go! It is a program of spiritual songs so go knowing that but GO! A good ol' foot stompin' time is a good ol' foot stompin' time.

The final message is that for too many years she hid her light and that, for some of us, the light is frightening but when you decided to just be who you are, you are engulfed in the beauty of your true light. That's a "religion" I can get behind. Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine! Promo video: www.yolanda.net - By Sue Matsuki for CabaretHotlineOnline.com


"BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: The SINGLES column- Edited by Larry Flick"

The delightfully eccentric singer/tunesmith Roger Anthony Mapes radiates joy and warm spirituality....on the beautiful "Angels", Roger deftly blends heartfelt poetry with a sweet, largely acoustic pop arrangement. It remains to be seen whether the world will embrace this sensitive man with a rich baritone voice. However, closed minds will miss out on what could be one of the strongest AC/pop compositions offered in months. Listen without prejudice.

-Larry Flick - Billboard Magazine (not online)


"LUCIE ARNAZ sez:"

LUCIE ARNAZ : "A charming personality. Full of light and love up there. Pure joy. The band is superb. The harmonies were sharp and right on target." - Yolanda.net- a personal email from Lucie Arnaz (used with her permission)


"LUCIE ARNAZ sez:"

LUCIE ARNAZ : "A charming personality. Full of light and love up there. Pure joy. The band is superb. The harmonies were sharp and right on target." - Yolanda.net- a personal email from Lucie Arnaz (used with her permission)


"Perpetual Change-House of Joy cd review"

Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes
CD review by Pamela DeGroff

Starting with this first installment of Perpetual Change for the new year, we’re going to post the occasional CD review. With all the great music being released by the many talented artists within the GLB and trans music communities, it would be a shame not to help promote even in a small way.

Roger Mapes, a.k.a Yolanda, has been featured in this column several times-August 2001, June 2003, in a two part series August 2009, and as part of the Abbalicious review in last month’s Transvocalizers, our companion column. Last fall, with the release of his new project, House Of Joy, his career has received a shot of creative adrenaline.

hous-of-joy“For ten years I played, recorded and toured with my indie/alt/cult/jazz/rock/pop band called Yolanda and The Plastic Family,” Mapes said. “I decided to take my music in a different direction with House Of Joy.

“I am originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and my first bands were bluegrass/gospel/folk, and Southern rock. I have now returned to those roots.”

One listen to House Of Joy and you will definitely hear all of those elements — and more. Produced by Robert Urban, the project’s 11 tracks stay true to that statement, with one exception.

The CD opens with I Wanna Know, followed by Mapes tribute to his hometown, Muscle Shoals. Both are pure Southern rock.

We Are Angels, the next track, is a song Mapes has gotten a lot of mileage out of. Along with the song Freedom, both tracks were choosen for inclusion on the National Equality March CD compilation issued last year. Angels can also be found in two different versions-acoustic and a full band production-on Mapes 1999 release Welcome To Yolandaworld. The House Of Joy version is the best produced of all versions and has a real bluegrass/country feel.

The other dominant Southern rock tunes are Nice Girl (”…it doesn’t pay to be a nice girl,” great lyric line); A Man Ain’t Supposed To Cry (perhaps the heaviest tune on the album); and, The Greatest Love.

Mapes provides one cover, 1967’s Ode To Billy Joe by Bobbie Gentry. Mapes’ version is heavy on acoustic guitar, and (to me at least) seems to give the song a much darker feeling than the original ever had.

The aforementioned Freedom, yet another Southern rock tune, has a definite anthem feel. While the song has a prominent transgender theme by discussing Brandon Teena, it doesn’t belabor the fact which would make it almost unlistenable by the end. The message, coupled with Urban’s excellent production, should definitely have an impact from its inclusion on the Equality CD.

Control Queen, which could be any self-respecting drag queen’s theme song, is one of the few laid back tunes on the project. Done with excellent piano and acoustic guitar, it pretty much drives home the mantra of “I am a control queen/and everything has got to be my way.” (Gee, I’ve never met anyone like that — not in our community.)

My personal favorite track, Legend, is also the most standout track on the CD. The playing is superb, especially the flute work of Robert Urban, which gives the song a real Jethro Tull feel in the bridge section.

The musical accompaniment for Legend provides a pad for a song about loneliness. However, the reason I regard this as the album’s standout track is only partly because of the aforementioned musicianship. Lyrics such as “in my living room/where all my dreams come true”, and “…I am a legend in my own mind…” make it very apparent that some things in life are universal and truly experienced by all.

House Of Joy closes with a bonus track, Intimacy, which is definitely techno, and from Mapes Plastic Family days. Compare this track to the rest of the album. I don’t know if Mapes would agree with this, but his new direction is light years beyond the Plastic Family material.

His songwriting and vocal prowers have grown. In a musical landscape where unintelligible rap and barking band vocals have practically become the norm, it’s refreshing to hear an excellent singer who actually has something to say.

Mapes has also known and worked with Robert Urban for many years, and their collaboration on House Of Joy is evidence of the professional trust and respect they obviously have for one another. A good producer doesn’t oveshadow his musician client, but rather knows how to create an environment in the recording studio that allows the artist to fully express themselves. Urban’s production isn’t overbearing, but instead compliments Mapes’ voice and songwriting perfectly. Working together, Urban and Mapes are a real hand-in-glove fit.

Besides Mapes on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Urban also plays guitar, flute, Hammond organ, piano, bass, bottleneck slide, as well as arranging horns, strings, the choir, and providing backing vocals. Other musicians include Steven Sullivan, bass; Tom O’Neill, organ, synths, keys, bass, sound fx, and music for Intimacy; Mark Vollenweider, dru - TG Forum (online review but members only website)


"Rev.Roger Anthony "YOLANDA" Mapes Inducted Into GLBT Hall Of Fame"

http://www.glbthalloffame.com/standinginductees.htm

for Rev. Roger Anthony YOLANDA Mapes - GLBT Hall of Fame listing. - www.glbthalloffame


"Rev. Yolanda’s Old Time Gospel Hour- WHAT A SHOW! A MUST SEE !!"



It took me a while to fully digest and be able to verbalize this amazing show I saw last night. I woke up this morning and I am ready to share! Are you ready?

A couple of weeks ago at Mark Janus’ Salon, I saw Rev. Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes, a gospel/country Reverend who is also a drag queen (is that unique or what?) perform and I loved it. He talked about a show at the Duplex coming up and I said to myself I will definitely be there! As intrigued as I was, I decided to invite my buddy Carly Ozard to the show. Together with Maria Moncada, another buddy of mine who is already a fan, we went to the show.

The show did not disappoint. What a fantastic performance!! Rev. Yolanda had the amazing ability to entertain, captivate, engage and inspire each and everyone in the audience.

I was a catholic school girl and I grew up singing gospel at the church. I’ve always found the music to bring a sense of comfort. Growing up under the repressive environment of catholic school pushed me away and made me decide later on in my life to follow the Buddhist path. However, somewhere in my heart, I had maintained the belief that somehow, all religion originated from the same starting point, encircling everyone regardless of gender, race, orientation and status of life. Rev. Yolanda’s show last night showed me how that is possible!! Rev. Yolanda delivered a show that no one can forget anytime soon! With his amazing 4 piece country band led by musical director Kenneth Gartman who also happens to possess quite an amazing set of pipes, a perfect compliment to Rev. Yolanda. They sang down the house. His special guest Tom Vaughn was a great talent as well with his country-style originals. His cd is schedule for release in September. Check it out! Not a single dull moment!

Under his flamboyantly glamorous appearance, Rev Yolanda’s music resonated and engaged something deep inside me and the rest of the audience. His performance is “art”! His faith is obvious and it touches everyone!

You might have thought when you saw his name, Reverend Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes, “What a long name? Who can remember a long name like that?” Well, I can tell you one thing, if you had gone to his show, you would walk out remembering that name, as I have! See the show to find out why! I promise, it will not disappoint! I will definitely go again. - NatashaCastillo.com - Natasha Castillo


"You inspired me."

you should know that I have such fond Burlington memories of you as Yolanda (performing with The Plastic Family, lighting up pride parades, entertaining us on public access with Ms. Tart!)... i grew into myself in that town, and you were a special part of that growing up for me. I felt your joy, your pride, your fearlessness, your beautiful spirit... and you inspired me. So thank you! I have enjoyed reading about your journey, and i look forward to getting to know the whole YOU!
sincerely,
Corey - An email from a fan


"Homecoming Queen... As fabulous as ever, “Yolanda” is born again"

In the late 1990s, Roger Mapes was Burlington’s king of queens. As his glitzy alter ego, Yolanda, the burly singer was the city’s most prominent drag queen, the leader of seminal B-town band the Plastic Family and, with fellow drag queen Cherie Tartt, the cohost of a popular local cable-access program, “The Cherie and Yolanda Show.” The name Yolanda was virtually synonymous with Burlington’s burgeoning drag scene, until Mapes relocated to New York City in 2000. “It was the best time of my life, basically,” recalls Mapes in a recent phone interview.
This Saturday, he returns to the Queen City to perform at this year’s Winter Is a Drag Ball at Higher Ground. Mapes helped birth the drag extravaganza in 1995 as a benefit for Vermont CARES, an organization he would later work with when he discovered he was HIV positive.

But when he once again graces the Drag Ball stage, Mapes will do so not as Yolanda, or even a character at all. For the first time in Burlington, he will perform as a complete version of himself: Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes. (read entire article at website) - Seven Days Newspaper, Vermont's Independent Voice, article by Dan Bolles


"House of Joy at #1 in Top Ten Songs"

Congratulations Roger on being voted into the October 2010- OutVoice GLBT Music Charts: HOUSE OF JOY #2 in Top 40 cds and song "I Wanna Know" #1 in Top Ten.

Len Rogers
www.outvoice.net - OutVoice.net GLBT Music Charts since 1996


"Welcome To The House of Joy"

http://dishmiss.com/?p=980 - DishMiss.com-Entertainment


Discography

LPs:
1. COUNTRY GOSPEL KIRTAN-2012 release
2. HOUSE OF JOY!
3. Welcome To YolandaWorld
Compilations:
1. Abbalicious
2. Hot and Sweet
3. Marry Me
4. Big Heavy World
EPs:
1. Roger Mapes and Red Hook Junction
2. Yolanda and The Plastic Family

Photos

Bio

Rev Yolanda video; http://www.yolanda.net

Rev. Yolanda is a singer/songwriter/drag performer and Interfaith Minister who's work as an Artist and Sacred Activist has earned him a place in The GLBT Hall Of Fame.

"Rev. Yolanda’s Old Time Gospel Hour- a Gender bending Gospel Music Celebration for The New Thought Generation" is Rev. Roger Anthony Mapes aka Rev. Yolanda's highly praised concert ministry .
The performances feature Rev. Yolanda and special guests singing Traditional and Original Gospel Music, encompassing Spirituals, Country Gospel songs, Hymns, and Original Gospel music written by Rev. Yolanda. The show is a fun, lively, celebratory, experience of worship, praise and gratitude for God's blessings.

AWARDS:

GLBT HALL OF FAME- http://www.glbthalloffame.com

OUTVOICE the INTERNATIONAL GLBT MUSIC CHARTS - Rev. Yolanda on the charts for 32 months in a row: http://www.outvoice.net

PRIDE IN THE ARTS AWARDS 2010

OUTMUSICIAN OF THE YEAR 2003

PRIDE IN THE ARTS AWARDS 2002

STONEWALL SOCIETY AWARD 2002-2004

FRESH FRUIT FESTIVAL -Audience Favorite Award 2005