A 24-Decade History of Popular Music

Since 2013, Pomegranate Arts has collaborated with Taylor to co-produce his most ambitious (and our most unforgettable) work to date—a unique 24-part performance art concert series that creates a subjective history of America since its founding in 1776. Years in development, the project culminated in a one-time 24-hour marathon performance for a sold-out audience at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY on October 8, 2016. Co-Directed by Niegel Smith, the work features Taylor and his long- time collaborators, costume designer Machine Dazzle and Music Director/ Arranger Matt Ray. Over 200 performers appeared in the NY run including a 24-piece orchestra, an ensemble of “dandy minions” and countless special guests ranging from a youth marching band, a troupe of feminist acrobatic dancers to members of the audience who were cast as colonial needleworkers, WWI soldiers, and Yum Yum from the Mikado. Among many accolades, the project was placed on The NY Times Top 10 lists of Best Performances, Best of Theater, and Best of Classical Music of 2016. NY Times critic Wesley Morris wrote of the marathon performance, “Mac gave me one of the great experiences of my life.”

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music will tour as a concert series consisting of several touring programs. Options include hour-long concerts which feature songs from a single decade from the 1770s to the 2000s, performed by Taylor and a small band; abridged concerts which consist of a selection of songs over multiple decades; and the full 24-Decade canon which can be presented in a variety of ways in a special co-production partnership with Pomegranate Arts.

Taylor Mac seduces you, breaks your heart, patches it back up again and sews sequins along the scars.

The Irish Times

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music

The New York Times, December 7, 2016

"The Best Performances of 2016"

By Wesley Morris


For two months, I’ve been thinking about his October all-day, all-night fantasia, still amazed that Mr. Mac did it, still miserable we had to go home after he did. It wasn’t just that he sustained his theatrical virtuosity that was so exhilarating. It was that he kept sharing the virtuosity of others: the Detroit power singers Steffanie Christi’an and Thornetta Davis well after midnight, the Brooklyn United Marching Band blasting through Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up” at the crack of dawn, the guitar shredding of Viva DeConcini for nearly the whole thing. Meanwhile, Mr. Mac practiced live criticism of and empathy for 240 years of mostly American popular music, changing clothes, wigs and makeup, while baring his chest, his butt and his soul.