Aardvark Jazz Orchestra to Perform Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker, Dec 21, Emmanuel Church Boston
(Published: November 21, 2013)
A Boston holiday tradition for 4 decades, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra's 41st Annual Christmas Concert, led by Aardvark founder and music director Mark Harvey, will feature the complete Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn arrangement (1960) of Tchaikovsky's famous Nutcracker Suite - an exuberant big band take on the perennial classic, in which the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy becomes the Sugar Rum Cherry, the Arabian Dance becomes Arabesque Cookie, and the Waltz of the Flowers becomes the Dance of the Floreadores. Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm, at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St, Boston MA 02116. Admission: $20. Proceeds to benefit The Pine Street Inn. Call 617-776-8778 or 617-452-3205.
The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra gave its inaugural concert December 23, 1973 at the Church of the Covenant in Boston as a benefit for the Chelsea Fire Fund. Every year since then, the band has held a Christmas concert to support a deserving cause. The aim of the Christmas Concert has always been to provide soulful celebration with a social conscience through a uniquely Aardvarkian perspective in the spirit of the season. Past beneficiaries have included Doctors Without Borders, American Friends Service Committee, Rosie's Place, The Poor Peoples United Fund and dozens more. Over the past 40 years, guest artists at the Christmas concert have included Sheila Jordan, Howard McGhee, Semenya McCord, Joe Carroll, Ron Gill, Jack Powers, Kip Tiernan, Brother Blue and many others.
Now in its 41st season, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra is one of the longest running large jazz ensembles in the world. The band has premiered more than 150 works and has released 12 CDs, including 6 discs on the prestigious Leo Records label. Luminaries who have joined Aardvark on stage include Jimmy Giuffre, Geri Allen, Jaki Byard, Lewis Porter, Vinny Golia, Dominique Eade, Jay Clayton, Sheila Jordan, Paul Lovens, Rajesh Mehta, Matt Savage and Walter Thompson. Aardvark has been praised for "a stunning hour of music that is, in turn, beautiful, poignant and raucous" (Billboard.com) and "a saxophonic blend worthy of Duke Ellington's finest reed sections" (JazzTimes)
Founder and music director Mark Harvey has performed as trumpeter in the U.S., Mexico and Europe; has recorded with George Russell (Blue Note) and Baird Hersey (Arista/Novus); and performed with Gil Evans, Claudio Roditi, Howard McGhee, Sam Rivers, Joe Carroll, Kenny Dorham and others. He has received awards and commissions from ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 15th Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert, and Meet-the-Composer-Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, among others. Commissions have featured such revered artists as Joe Lovano, Steve Turre, Herb Pomeroy and Ran Blake. Dr. Harvey teaches jazz studies and composition at MIT, has lectured widely on religion and the arts, and is a retired Methodist minister.
Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dan Zupan/saxes and woodwinds; K.C. Dunbar, Jeanne Snodgrass/trumpets; Bob Pilkington, Jay Keyser/trombones; Jeff Marsanskis, Bill Lowe/bass trombones, tuba; Richard Nelson/guitar; John Funkhouser/string bass; Harry Wellott/drums; Jerry Edwards and Grace Hughes, vocalists; Mark Harvey/trumpet, music director.
Aardvark is managed by Americas Musicworks.
More Information: http://www.aardvarkjazz.com