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Aardvark Jazz Orchestra To Release New CD, Passages, in April 16 show at MIT Kresge Auditorium
(Published: March 27, 2016)

Called "stunningly beautiful and adventurous" (New York City Jazz Record), the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra continues its 43rd season with the release of the band's 14th CD, Passages (Leo Records), featuring works by director Mark Harvey, April 16 at 8 pm, MIT Kresge Auditorium, 77 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA. Free admission. Call 617-776-8778. "Fresh....unconventional....Aardvark Jazz Orchestra proves once more its reputation as one of the best jazz ensembles in the world." (Jazz Podium, Germany).
In the April 16 show, Aardvark will perform the centerpiece of the new CD, Commemoration (Boston 2013), a tribute to the victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy. In addition, Harvey will present Dreaming (2014) and No Walls (2004), and premieres of his latest works Fluctuations and By the Way.

More about Aardvark's new CD, Passages:
With Passages, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra presents its latest CD of live performance recordings, the 14th disc in its catalogue. The selections, all by Mark Harvey, conjure up sonic images ranging from frenetic to lyrical, turbulent to elegiac, and monumental to meditative. The compositional aesthetic blends individual, collective, and conducted improvisation within complex notated structures to create a unique musical perspective. The four compositions on the CD are described below.

Spaceways is inspired by and dedicated to Sun Ra, a major influence on the band for many decades. (The piece received its premiere in 2014, Sun Ra's centennial year.)

Saxophrenia was commissioned by the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble and premiered in 2002 at MIT as a saxophone sextet featuring master musician Joe Lovano. The big band arrangement heard on the CD quickly followed.

Twilight is collectively improvised from a graphic score and displays the nuanced subtleties of the improvisational ensemble.

The final composition, Commemoration (Boston 2013), is a suite paying homage to the victims and survivors of the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon and the subsequent assassination of an MIT police officer. Krystal Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Officer Sean Collier were all murdered in this event that traumatized Boston and beyond. Harvey writes, "Commemoration reminds us of the fragility of life and evokes emotions experienced by survivors, first-responders, and the community alike. The music follows the passage from shock to anger to grief to an elegy for the departed. Unity in sound offers strength in a search for transcendence and healing."

The tradition of creating music relevant to cultural concerns and expressing a social consciousness is a significant one in jazz, ranging from Ellington to the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. Charles Mingus's Fables of Faubus is one powerful example, expressing the pathos associated with the integration of the Little Rock, Arkansas public schools during the civil rights struggle. Mark Harvey has established his own niche within this tradition, having composed and recorded numerous works in this vein. Among them are Tiananmen Elegy, Freedom Song (for the Nigerian musician and activist Fela Anikalupo Kuti), Heartsong (for Burmese Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi), No Walls (for Doctors Without Borders), Blood on the Sun/New Moon Rising (a response to the tragedy of 9/11), and closer to home, West End Rundown (a remembrance of the urban renewal project that destroyed the West End neighborhood of Boston), Sumner (a commemoration of Harvey's ancestor, abolitionist and statesman Charles Sumner), and The Journey (the historical journey toward school desegregation in Boston).

About Mark Harvey and the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra:
The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, founded in 1973 and now celebrating its 43rd season, is one of the longest continuously operating large jazz ensembles in the world. The orchestra performs original compositions by Mark Harvey, as well as classics from the jazz tradition, American music, and world music. Aardvark has premiered more than 175 works. Guest artists have included luminaries Geri Allen, Jaki Byard, Dominique Eade, Jimmy Giuffre, Vinny Golia, Robert Honeysucker, Sheila Jordan, Rajesh Mehta, Lewis Porter, Matt Savage, and Walter Thompson.

Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter H. 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; Rob Bethel, cello; Hollis Headrick/drums; Jerry Edwards and Grace Hughes, vocalists; Mark Harvey/trumpet, music director.

Mark Harvey has performed in major venues including Fenway Park and Symphony Hall, Boston, the Knitting Factory and the Village Gate (NYC), the National Gallery of Art (DC), the Left Bank Jazz Society (MD), the Berlin Jazz Festival (Germany), and the Baja State Theater (Mexico). His musical credits also include recordings with George Russell's Living Time Orchestra (Blue Note) and Baird Hersey & the Year of the Ear (Arista/Novus), and appearances with Gil Evans, Howard McGhee, Sam Rivers, and Claudio Roditi, among others. Harvey has received commissions from the Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, the 15th Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert, FiLmprov, the MIT Sesquicentennial Celebration, and others. In 2015, Harvey was named Boston Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association, one of 24 jazz advocates/activists recognized nationally. Harvey is a minister and an educator teaching jazz studies at MIT.

Mark Harvey's essay on the history of avant-garde jazz in Boston is part of a newly released compilation recording, The Boston Creative Jazz Scene 1970-1983 (Cultures of Soul, 2016) featuring his quartet of the period among others. Cultures of Soul will mark the official release of the CD boxed set on May 1, at 7:00 pm at the Piano Craft Factory, 793 Tremont St, Boston. The event will feature live music by performers on the CD--Peter Bloom, Arni Cheatham, and Mark Harvey--as well as later generations of improvisers on the Boston scene. Donations welcome. 617 776 8778.

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra is managed by Americas Musicworks, Rebecca DeLamotte, Director, 29 Newbury Street, Somerville, MA 02144, telephone 617-776-8778 or email delamotte-amw@comcast.net
Visit www.americasmusicworks.co... and www.aardvarkjazz.com

More Information: http://www.aardvarkjazz.com

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Americas Musicworks
delamotte-amw@comcast.net


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