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Arlington jazz legend Harvey looks back 50 years

Mark Harvey, trumpet, 2018Mark Harvey on trumpet.

Join Arlington resident Mark Harvey and Peter H. Bloom at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, for a live Zoom conversation, with video and musical excerpts, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of "A Rite for All Souls," a groundbreaking performance by The Mark Harvey Group five decades ago. 

This is a free encore presentation of Mark and Peter’s 2020 video-interview with veteran jazz writer Bob Blumenthal.

Registration required.  Sign up here >> 

Harvey has led Aardvark Jazz Orchestra since 1973. The group often performs at MIT, where Harvey teaches jazz.

On Oct. 31, 1971, with American democracy in turmoil, The Mark Harvey Group (Harvey, brasswinds; Bloom, woodwinds; and their late colleagues Craig Ellis and Michael Standish, percussion) composed and performed "A Rite for All Souls" at Boston’s venerable Old West Church – a powerful aesthetic response to the times.

The work was a single extended musical work of instrumental movements punctuated by brief recitations.  The diversity of sonic experiences, the musical and poetic interactions, the theatrical gestures and stagecraft all combined to create a profound experience, conjoining artistic expression, social protest, and spiritual healing.

A superb live concert recording of the 1971 performance, lost for nearly five decades, was re-discovered in 2018. The original reel-to-reel tapes were digitally remastered to create an audiophile-quality 2-CD set (with booklet) documenting the event.  The album "A Rite for All Souls" was released in July 2020.

Praise for the album by Donald Elfman, The New York City Jazz Record, July 2020: “Extraordinary … strange and wonderful … cosmically unusual …. A Rite for All Souls is a deeply engaging series of improvisations, sound worlds and rich musical expression.” 

Boston Globe, Oct. 25: ‘A Rite for All Souls’ remembrance 50 years after the Mark Harvey Group’s stunning performance


This news announcement was published Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021.

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