REV. YOLANDA

 
 

Fans

My most precious awards are the love and support of fans. I dearly love the people who support me and take the time to tell me how they feel about my music and ministry. Below are some of those statements:

Quotes from colleagues, friends, and fans:

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." 

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JOHN CAPEK composer, songwriter, keyboard player, arranger and scores music for feature films and television.

"I see your theatrical statement as being your forte and your strength. You put on a tremendous show."

ROD STEWART leads the list of popular music Icons who have recorded Capek compositions. They include; DIANA ROSS, JOE COCKER, CHER, TOTO, CHICAGO, OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN, LITTLE RIVER BAND, HEART, PATTI AUSTIN and MANHATTAN TRANSFER.

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DAVID FRIEDMAN ( film and theater composer, songwriter, author, lyricist and conductor based in New York City. He received a 1997 Backstage Bistro Award for Composer of the Year and a 1997 Johnny Mercer Award for Songwriter of the Year, and a Special Lifetime Achievement Award at the 26th Annual MAC Awards. His Oratorio, King Island Christmas, won a Frederick Loewe Award and Dramatists Guild Award. Here is what David says:

 "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."

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KENNETH GARTMAN- musical director of Rev. Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour:

"I've had such a wonderful time working with Yolanda. Creating the gospel hour with Yolanda has been a real joy for me. I get to tap into my good ol' southern baptist upbringing while creating a show that is filled with love and acceptance for all.  We worked hard to create a show that has an authentic southern gospel feel to it while still being inclusive and respectful of the various spiritual paths that exist. Whether you are gay or straight..Christian or Jewish...I believe that you'll find the message of Rev Yolanda's Gospel Hour to be uplifting and life affirming. We took some classic songs and modified the lyrics a bit so that they aligned with Rev Yolanda's spiritual ideals. It was challenging finding old gospel tunes that weren't divisive in the text. It was very important to us that all who attend the gospel hour feel respected. The show is about love and joy. Peace. Acceptance. The fact that Rev Yolanda is a preacher man in a dress isn't a novelty act. Rev Yolanda is a man who enjoys dressing as a woman especially to entertain, uplift and inspire others. The show is filled with laughter but not as a means of making fun of anyone. I find it unimaginable that anyone could come to the gospel hour and not leave in a better place than when they arrived. It's a truly inspiring show that I feel blessed to be a part of!  I am thrilled that the show has won a MAC award and been made into a documentary film. The world needs more shows like the gospel hour and more pioneers like Rev Yolanda who dare to be outrageous and still know and claim their oneness with God, love, and all that is. What a powerful journey!!"
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BILL TURNERmusician and member of Bill Haley &The Comets, and NARAS member 

says of my song Love Divine: "I have admiration and respect for you. I'm telling everybody about your writing--ESPECIALLY "Love Divine". The recording you did of "Love Divine" is so PERFECT.....there is NO way to improve upon it! I firmly believe that record could be a MONSTER HIT...you nailed it lyrically, poetically...and universally! I think even an ATHEIST could listen to that song and LOVE it! I have so many friends who are songwriters....but NONE of them ever wrote a song that moved me, like that one did! The MESSAGE IS UNIVERSAL....even non-believers can BELIEVE- all from that song!

Your pal,

Bill Turner "

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Rev. Jane Galloway of Sanctuary 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."

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TYM MOSS (Artists Exposed Radio Show):

"Oh, Lord have mercy! That was one of the most perfect performances I've ever seen in my life..So authentic. So meaningful. So real..It was a pure delight. Filled with Love, Joy, Celebration and God..You caught me off guard a couple of times... I forgot it was Mother's Day until you sang Amazing Grace. I sang that song at my Mother's funeral. Then you sang How Great Thou Art, which I sang at my Grandmother's funeral. I hadn't really felt Mother's Day in years until last night. I felt them both.. Thank you..You are so Special and so Divine. Love you so much."

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"Dear Rev. Yolanda,

I'm really impressed with the Old Time Gospel hour project. Basically, it's because of the spiritual aspect of the music. I truly feel that within our respective communities, we have a great number of folks who have a spiritual upbringing, outlook ,and even a world view. Yet, too often, they don't feel they can speak up and truly present that part of themselves. The GLBT spectrum is very good at preaching diversity, yet has a hard time with spirituality, especially if it has anything to do with traditional Christianity in any way. That's terribly unfortunate. We need what you're doing."

-Pamela DeGroff writer at TG FORUM

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"You, my friend, are a star - without a doubt, but there is another aspect to you - which is very similar to John Lennon - you are an activist, a motivator, a role model, and a game changer."- Alexandria Tava, Psychic Astrologer http://www.alexandriatava.com/

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 "You are so talented and so full of passion and positive energy. I could feel it pouring off the stage like a tidal wave! I have listened to  "House of Joy"  5 times already and I still can't get enough. You and your band are truly talented and gifted singer-songwriters!  I can relate to every song you wrote on that album, and you helped me to remember that I'm not the only one who had a rough life because of who and what we are. Your husband is one of the luckiest men in the world to have someone as gifted and beautiful as you." _ Dig Space, artist

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"I love just being around you! The energy you share with us all is such a blessing and if I could bottle that up and have everyone I know take a sip the world would profit from the taste of love! " - Jeff Rockcub, musician

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 "I've come to realize you are the living embodiment of Shiva. You are the perfect balance of man and woman in one amazingly talented package. I've never met anyone as unique and gifted as you and I'm honored to call you friend. Keep up the wonderful and important work you're doing" -D.

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Everyone, please meet my new friend Rev. Yolanda, whom I met at Easton Mountain's Bear Your Soul event! Yolanda is one of the clearest, most settled and at ease human beings I have ever met. Being around her instantly calms me down. She is one of those rare people who actually lives in Reality as oppose to the thinking mind, which is a world ungrounded in imaginary past and future. She expresses what Reality feels like to me: clear, settled, at ease. She also happens to be an ordained Rev. who loves gospel music and fabulous drag. Part woman, part man, 100% angel. - Justin Taylor

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"You are such a beautiful spirit and finding your music has been a real blessing to me.I was at an ACIM class with our wonderful friend and teacher Earl Purdy and he used both of the songs during the lesson.  I went to him afterward and said "who was that?  I want to start every day with that music!"  And that is how I found you :)

So, the next week I started a new job and replaced the butterflies in my stomach with your tunes in my heart.  Funny, being a social worker, I got a new case who is an 8 year old  girl who is traumatized.  The only thing she could tell me was that she'd like to have a dance party.  Being out-of-the-box-thinking-girl I decided that I will do some work with her when she returns and then we will rock some "Freedom" to help her heal and feel some joy.
Sending you a big hug!" -Jody c.

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 Dear Rev. Yolanda

Hi!  Your song helped me this week.  I was with a friend who had married a guy who I think holds her back.   I was about to set her straight on this drip when your song suddenly played on my itunes playlist -- right at the moment that I could feel the vibes between us starting to rankle,  I paused and  listened to the words ..". Let things be- exactly as they are - You can't change me and you can't change God."   I bit my tongue and held off the advice giving -- I could feel the love between us.   What a moment!!!   Many thanks.-- Hugs to you... That stuff is powerful.....

love you- C. L.

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Dear Reverend Yolanda,

Thank you for the gift that you ARE!

All by itself, the level of facility you have so far developed for nurturing yourself would be gift enough to this planet so sorely in need of healing. The fact that you go the next mile and spread that love around amongst the rest of us deserves every standing ovation you receive. The fact that if one looks up "fully self-expressed" in the dictionary, one finds a picture of Yolanda (minus the uppermost third of the hair, which could NEVER fit in any frame) speaks for itself!

I am eternally grateful to my friend, Bob, who strong-armed me into coming to the Arts Center last Friday night.

I was raised Lutheran in NC, and converted to Adamant Atheist at the age of 15. Fast-forward thirty years and I stumbled into Soto Zen Buddhism. Buddhist practice led to recovery 

Miracles are rare enough that they should be shared when they occur. The MIRACLE of Friday night occurred when my partner of 32 years allowed me to drag him out to a public event (which happens about once a year or so) and not only did he enjoy himself, but sharing the experience of Reverend Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour is opening up whole new (previously un-imagined) avenues of communication and possibilities for relatedness!

I now have just the faintest glimmer of hope that even wounds as deep as his may be susceptible to the ultimate power of love.

I can't honestly say that I have never written a fan letter, but, I enthusiastically assert that I have never sent one so richly deserved!!!

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be content. May you be peaceful and at ease.

Deep Admiration & Profound Respect,

PJ M

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Hi Yolanda,

In my writing class we do 5 minute exercises on different topics.  Last week we did one where Laughing was the subject and I wrote about you.  I thought you might like to see it … 
"Laughing (Rev. Yolanda)
 
I feel pure laughing is the entrance into God.  Of course, it depends on the kind of laugh.
 
I know a man, who no matter what he's doing or who he's with, can always find the laugh, the light in the moment. This man is a Singer-Songwriter, a Drag Queen and a Reverend, who performs an Old Time Gospel Show.  
 
What's so amazing about him and brave, is that many people judge him in their fear of his freedom.  
Yet he continues laughing at the craziness of the world and strengthening his commitment to truly offer the light."
 
My class really liked it ...
Xoxoxoxoxo
Laurie
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Dear Rev. Yolanda,

My son was showing me his video segments of you when you generously shared with him the time you spent at your father's grave.
Tears streamed down my face at your openness, your tenderness, your vulnerability and love at that moment. I had an unaccepting father just for being an artist and he is gone, now, too.
How I wish I had had the courage to be my true self while he was alive. I may visit his grave someday as you did, when I figure out who I really am.

Thank you for sharing such a moving moment.

Sincerely,
Janice

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Your show is amazing! How do you manage to be sincere and subversive at the same time?

-Elaine St. George- Hanson Award Winner, 2014 Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist & 2013 MAC Award. www.elainestgeorge.com

 

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Yolanda,
My daughter and I recently saw your "Old Time Gospel Hour" show at the Wild Goose Festival, in Hot Springs, NC. I just wanted let you know that it was one of, if not THE, favorite performance we saw over the entire four days of the festival. In all honesty, we stayed for your show because it was raining, but we walked away BLESSED beyond belief! Spirit puts us where we need to be, when we need to be there, and I thank you for sharing your music, your story, and your inspiration in such an amazing, talented, and intensely personal and beautiful way. You've gained two new fans for life!!

Love and blessings,
Janet and Hannah

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I love you RoYo!! Just plain love you - 1) because you are beautiful and authentic and such a loving spirit - 2) because your talent is fun and inspires acceptance, inclusion and an examination of these issues at the deepest level - Thank you! HUGS and a CYBER SMOOCH!

-Mary Catherine
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a poem from Beijing Charlie:

"Escaping Sardines"
Accosted. The intercom crackles and bites
As the conductor repeats his incomprehensible
heinous announcement over and over, like Chinese
torture. I translate: Subway service is stopping 
At 36th Street.  All must switch to another
Line or the shuttle. 
I slowly descend, cautiously with a dumb founded look
On my face. At the bottom of the stairs
I see two men.  One wearing a blousie 
Top of polyester silk and leopard skin print.
Has he attempted to wipe makeup off his face? 
His partner is wearing a purple bandanna 
Around his neck.  Does that mean code? 
Would a straight guy ever make this choice? 
I'm ashamed of my up tight - out of town thoughts.
They give me a cursory glance 
From the corner of their eyes.
Simple enough to know I need help.
Without further introduction 
They ask where I'm going? And oh, yes, 
Mr. Against Coincidences, they are headed in the
Same direction. They will look after me,
"Follow us." 
The first stage is to crowd 
Onto this waiting subway. They warn 
Me, we will also have to deal with a jam packed
Shuttle.  They have been on this ride before.
It ain't pretty.
As  we climb aboard the first train.
I notice Mr. Leopard Print is dragging
Along a guitar case. I say, "You must be
A performer." "Oh, I'm more than that." 
He reaches into his back pocket and gives me
A postcard with his drag photo and a date of
A coming show.  They have just come from
Doing their weekly spiritual course of miracles.
I glance at the card. I know less about drag queens
Than I know about the NY subway system. There is no
App for my ignorance. 
But these guys,
These strangers who have saved me from the hell
Of the subway are two that I sorta know. We were at the same
Men's retreat a year or so ago. I didn't recognize them out 
Of costume and makeup. 
Reverend Yolanda performed at Easton Mountain! 
So now, now
I'm feeling very rescued. And oddly grateful
That there has come to be
This, this Subway-R-Train Goddess looking out for me.
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Influences:

You cannot restore someone to their Connection with Source by belittling them or by punishing them, or by being disgusted with them. It is only through love that you can return anyone to love. And if you do not have a way of returning them to love, they will always be a problem to your society. -Abraham/Hicks 

 

where Gender Transcendence creates music of Divine Love