Building Bridges of Love and Compassion between Diverse Communities through the Power of Inspirational Entertainment.
Personal note from Rev. Yolanda, September 2020:
I am a trans femme gender queer singer songwriter and interfaith minister originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, "The Hit Recording Capital of the World". I'm influenced by the music of my hometown,as it intersects with the spiritual spectrum. I have been making music professionally for over 35 years, and have won several awards along the way (Blues Hall of Fame,GLBT Hall of Fame, 2x MAC Award Winner at BB Kings in NYC). All the way through my life, creating art that reflected my journey in all of its challenges and enlightenment, has been what I believe is mine to do in this lifetime. My latest work is called YolandaNanda. I chose to release this inspirational cd at this challenging time in world history because I am choosing to RISE higher than ever before!!! I know in my heart that many people across the globe are also choosing to RISE to co-create together a new human experience on this planet. One that values all life, because all life is ONE and EVERYTHING in life is HOLY.
This is the reason I still make music and offer my latest YolandaNanda to YOU! This creative process has given me some Hope and Light, and I hope it blesses you on your journey.
Official Brief Bio:
Rev. Yolanda is a singer/songwriter/trans-femme genderqueer performance artist and interfaith minister, originally from Muscle Shoals Alabama- The Hit Recording Capital Of The World. Rev. Yolanda and husband Rev. Glen Ganaway are the founders of the “spiritual happening”
Rev. Yolanda's ministry and body of musical work has been captured on film by Avaiya Media
with the movie "Rev. Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour" (available on Amazon),
and with an autobiographical musical theater piece entitled
Rev. Yolanda has also been honored with induction into the The GLBT Hall Of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and two MAC Awards. (MAC-Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs).
other musical works include:
“CHURCH WITH A 2 DRINK MINIMUM” (creator, producer, composer, lead performer; 2016-present) a monthly spiritual “happening” at Sidewalk Cafe, NYC; “WELCOME TO THE DOLL DEN,” (co-creator, co-composer, co-lead performer 2016-present; Dixon Place and The Tank, NYC with Electric Eye Ensemble); “REV. YOLANDA'S OLD TIME GOSPEL HOUR” and “BE THE LOVE” (creator, producer, composer, and lead performer in NYC and national tours; winners of the 2014 and 2015 MAC Award for Best Drag Artist). Other original musical theater works include: “HOUSE OF JOY” (The Laurie Beechman Theater, NYC and various LGBT PRIDE celebrations across the US) “YOLANDA AND THE PLASTIC FAMILY” (Wigstock, monthly NYC gigs at CBGB's & Meow Mix, The Laurie Beechman Theater) and “ALIEN NIGHT JOURNEYS.”
Acting stage credits include:
STONEWALL, A RHAPSODY ON RESISTANCE (AEA Showcase) and TV credits include HIGH MAINTENANCE (HBO) and SKELETON CREW (Sidekick Productions).
Yolanda’s albums include:
“REV. YOLANDA'S COUNTRY GOSPEL KIRTAN VOL 1,” and “VOL. 2” (considered for Grammy nomination) as well as "TRANSCENDENCE", “HOUSE OF JOY” and “WELCOME TO YOLANDAWORLD.”
Rev. Yolanda also holds an MFA in Performance Art from Vermont College of Norwich University.
" Dolly Parton plus Louise Hay, with a heapin helpin of Mrs. Doubtfire ! "
Rev.Yolanda's music ministry is called:
"A TRANS-tastic, Interfaith, Interspiritual, God Optional Musical Celebration of Life ".
Singing together, laughing, having brunch and celebrating life with inspirational music and message, welcoming all paths and traditions. We affirm the Sacred Mystery within, and embrace the diversity of humankind.
Rev. Yolanda's MAC Award wining cabaret show:
"Rev. Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour"
is also a full feature documentary by Ike Allen of AVAIYA MEDIA
Official Extended Bio:
Rev. Yolanda is a singer/songwriter/trans-femme genderqueer performance artist and interfaith minister, originally from Muscle Shoals Alabama- The Hit Recording Capital Of The World. Rev. Yolanda's body of musical work has been honored with induction into the The GLBT Hall Of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and two MAC Awards. Rev. Yolanda is currently working on a full length, autobiographical musical theater piece entitled "The Church Of The Alien Love Child Presents: The Passion of Rev. Yolanda"..
An accomplished, award-winning singer/songwriter, performance artist, and Interfaith Minister, Rev. Yolanda was born Roger Anthony Mapes in Muscle Shoals, Alabama –The Hit Recording Capital of The World. S/He joined hir first Gospel Bluegrass band, Amplified New Testament, when s/he was only 17 years old. At age 28 s/he moved to New York City and began exploring theater and performance art. During this exploration s/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 hir original musical blend of rock, pop, country and jazz with hir band Yolanda & The Plastic Family, celebrating the release of hir first CD Welcome to Yolandaworld. Yolanda rocked Vermont with her band and an acclaimed TV Show "The Cherie and Yolanda Show". In 2000, the downtown scene in NYC came calling with an invitation to play at CBGB's new Queer music night called "HOMOCORPS", which led to Yolanda moving back to NYC to be a part of that music scene. 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).
Yolanda Roger Anthony Mapes was inducted into the GLBT Hall of Fame for Activism, Art Excellence and Community Awareness in 2005. It was around this time that Yolanda began a spiritual journey which led hir 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, and Be The Love - the 2 live, autobiographical Gospel Music Cabaret shows, which won 2 MAC Awards consecutively, were realized and performed from 2012-2015, coinciding with the release of another album, Rev. Yolanda's Country Gospel Kirtan. “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 Guinness Book of World Record-holder for bearded lady),HBO's "High Maintenance, 4 seasons of Apple TV web series "Skeleton Crew", and a feature film:
"Rev. Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour-The Movie"- which was released in 2016, coinciding with her induction to the NY Chapter of The Blues Hall of Fame
Rev. Yolanda in 2018, is currently working on a full length, autobiographical musical theater piece entitled "The Church Of The Alien Love Child Presents: The Passion of Rev. Yolanda".
Rev.Yolanda is an eccentric, and ecstatic performer with a southern rock, country gospel style. Bringing the message of Non Duality into every event by merging GLBT and Mainstream Popular Culture with Integrated Spirituality. With a soulful voice, a message of oneness, great costumes, and a wicked sense of humor, Rev. Yolanda's shows and CDs emphasize love, beautiful melodies, interesting stories, and a bit of inspiration.
Rev. Yolanda was born and raised as Roger Anthony Mapes in
and the birthplaces of
The Muscle Shoals area is populated by an abundance of musicians and visual artists/painters. Yolanda began studying music, painting and drawing at a young age with local artists and was encouraged to develop hir own unique vision, which combines GLBT culture, drag performance, personal spirituality, and a love for Old Time Gospel Music. Yolanda is influenced by pop, rock, blues,gospel, country, and folk, but doesn’t self-consciously follow any one tradition…combining them all into a hybrid of hir own.
Yolanda is also a fine artist, who paints abstract expressionist paintings. Hir paintings on canvas and clothing are in private collections all over the world.