Jennifer Vanilla: a container, a portal, a joy delivery system, a self help regimen, a social mirror, a Times Square celebrity, a shark-toothed advertiser, a kicky talk show host, an ebullient mascot. Born in a dewdrop high up in the sky in an idyllic realm known as Jenniferia, the sexless humanoid alien opened a portal to the eastern coast of the United States using a magical braid that became entangled with the earthling artist Becca Kauffman. Together, the two embarked upon a musical adventure that ignited the imaginations of countless humans. Jennifer became Kauffman’s everyperson, an archetypal mold for building connection with strangers. Kauffman inhabited Jennifer and transformed through Jennifer, and vice versa. This conversation in fantasy has taken shape as their debut full-length album, Castle in the Sky, a jennifreaky journey into ‘90s dance music and art pop inspired by the likes of Deee-lite, Laurie Anderson, and Will Powers, now out on Sinderlyn Records. Jennifer Vanilla has got the keys to the castle and is equipped to take you for a ride to their Castle in the Sky, a high-energy musical performance of the new record that will leave you “absolutely buzzing” (- a recent showgoer).
“Critically acclaimed by the likes of Vogue, Stereogum, Pitchfork and Polyester Zine, Jennifer Vanilla is a concept that cannot be contained. Endlessly free-spirited, Becca Kauffman’s eccentric dance music alter ego’s latest endeavor is the soundtrack to life in full color.” – DIVA Magazine
“Madonna meets Hey Arnold meets Michael Alig meets Grace Jones meets infinity.” – Tess Dworman
“A heckuva record – full of mischievously enunciated proclamation, devilishly clean grooves, delicious air and water electronics, and heavy versatility. Technotic candy I’m going to be bumping from here on out!” – Elena Chimaera
“Last night was incredible!! Honestly one of my favorite shows ever— can’t wait to see you perform again!!” – Album release show attendee
“The most viscerally fun show/dance party I’ve been to in years.” – Album release show attendee
CASTLE IN THE SKY MUSIC VIDEOS
HUMILITY’S DISEASE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
BODY MUSIC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
TAKE ME FOR A RIDE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
For ages 18+
This show is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, Philly’s artist-centered performance hub, packing in 65+ full length shows and 300 performances in two nearby venues. Discover risk-taking theater, dance, circus, music, and comedy alongside a vibrant garden bar with a free nightly cabaret, pop-up events, workshops, artist talkbacks, and more. September 1–30 at the Maas Building (1320 N 5th St) and Icebox Project Space (1400 N American St). Learn more at cannonballfestival.org.
Music co-written and co-produced by Becca Kauffman and Brian Abelson
Photo credit: Luca Venter
Health & Safety
Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event, and masks must be worn for the duration of the performance. Audience members will be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering the venue. Both digital and physical proof of vaccination are accepted. Please plan accordingly.
About the Artist
Becca Kauffman (they/them) is a social artist based in Queens, New York exploring art as a public utility through interactive performance, devised gatherings, and neighborhood interventions. A lover of strangers, they rely on chance encounters and citizen journalism to understand and contribute to the social choreography of shared public space. Their work has taken the form of a residency on the streets of Times Square, a neighborhood rally and performance intervention for a crosswalk, T-shirts that function as conversation pieces, a public access television show, and perhaps most notably, their performance work as Jennifer Vanilla, a persona-driven fantasy vessel for original pop music, music videos, and choreographed stage shows that have been showcased at MoMA PS1, Elsewhere, Bowery Ballroom, and more. A member of the experimental Brooklyn band Ava Luna for ten years, Becca is now an MFA candidate in Art and Social Practice at Portland State University, where they are researching live action role play, tactical urbanism, and hosting as a form of public stewardship. Their new album Castle in the Sky is out now on Sinderlyn Records. @jennifervanilla