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Aardvark Jazz Orchestra video concert held with Zoom reception

Mark Harvey, trumpet, 2018Aardvark Jazz Orchestra

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra continues its 48th season with a virtual concert of "Eclectic Excursions," an archival video with selections from Aardvark’s April 2014 concert at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, led by Arlington resident Mark Harvey.

Registration required for the event at 7 tonight.  Click here to register >>

The program features the full orchestra with its two stellar vocalists, Grace Hughes and Jerry Edwards. This online concert is a joyful celebration of springtime and renewal.

There are two parts to the event – a Vimeo presentation of Aardvark’s archival concert selections, and a live Zoom reception after the video.  Everyone who registers will receive a link for the Vimeo show, and a separate link for the Zoom reception. Click here >> 

The program of original compositions by music director Harvey includes two selections from his Boston JazzScape suite:  "Keepin’ On" (inspired by the ongoing quest for racial justice) and "Samba313" (a portrait of Boston poet and community activist Jack Powers).

Counterpoint to the lyrical ballad "Dreaming" is the raucous "Spaceways," a tribute to the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra.

The concert finale is a full performance of "No Walls," Harvey’s multigenre suite inspired by Duke Ellington’s credo to move “beyond category” in music and life.  The last movement of "No Walls" is a rousing anthem to building bridges and breaking down walls. 

The orchestra extends special thanks to MIT Music and Theater Arts, and to Matt Samolis, videographer for the April 2014 concert. 

Founded in 1973, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra is one of the longest-running large jazz ensembles in the world.  The orchestra has premiered more than 180 works, and has performed extensively in clubs, concert halls, festivals, colleges, universities and other venues.

Aardvark guest artists have included Sheila Jordan, Jaki Byard, Ricky Ford, Geri Allen, Jimmy Giuffre, Matt Savage and Dominique Eade. Aardvark has released 16 CDs, including 10 discs on Leo Records.

The band’s latest release, "Faces of Souls" (2020, Leo Records) was chosen by The New York City Jazz Record as one of their “Best of 2020” Large Ensemble Releases.

Founder Harvey, winner of the 2019 Roy Haynes Award, has performed as trumpeter with jazz greats Claudio Roditi, Gil Evans, Howard McGhee, Kenny Dorham and Sam Rivers.

Aardvark members and their years of service on the Aardvark bandstand:  Arni Cheatham (44), Peter H. Bloom (44), Phil Scarff (34), Chris Rakowski (20), and Dan Zupan (24), woodwinds; KC Dunbar (31) and Jeanne Snodgrass (32), trumpets; Bob Pilkington (40), Jay Keyser (34), and Jeff Marsanskis (40), trombones; Bill Lowe (27), bass trombone and tuba; Richard Nelson (34) guitar; John Funkhouser (30) piano and string bass; Harry Wellott (38), drums; Jerry Edwards (38) and Grace Hughes (17) vocalists; and Mark Harvey (48), music director.

This news announcement was published Saturday, April 3, 2021.

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