World Premiere of "Boston JazzScape"
March 8, 2013
The internationally acclaimed Aardvark Jazz Orchestra marks the high point of its historic 40th season with the world premiere of music director Mark Harvey’s epic new work, Boston JazzScape. Expect an exuberant display of Aardvark’s “awe-inspiring audience fascination” (Downbeat), as the band delivers Harvey’s exhilarating 21st century salute to Boston (“give this groundbreaking music a listen” Jazz Now). Boston JazzScape, composed over 10 years, shows off Harvey’s command of styles ranging from swing, bop, and blues to Third Stream to free improvisation. The piece tells a fascinating story of Boston, from the Revolutionary War to the Great Fire of 1872 to Sacco & Vanzetti to the infamous urban renewal of the West End (a precursor to the Big Dig), from Boston-born jazz maven Nat Hentoff to social crusader Kip Tiernan, from the back story of the Charlie Card to Mayor Kevin White’s Summerthing.
With global distribution of 11 CDs and wide-ranging performances in festivals, clubs, concert halls, colleges and universities, Aardvark has been a major force in the international jazz scene for 40 years. One of the longest running large jazz ensembles in the world, the band has premiered more than 150 works for jazz orchestra. Guest artists who have appeared with Aardvark include jazz luminaries Jaki Byard, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Giuffre, Geri Allen, Lewis Porter, Vinny Golia, Dominique Eade, Jay Clayton, Paul Lovens, Rajesh Mehta, Matt Savage and Walter Thompson.
Aardvark’s latest CD, Evocations, was named by The New York City Jazz Record as one of the magazine’s picks for Best of 2012.
Founder and music director Mark Harvey was honored by the City of Boston and the City of Cambridge, as both cities proclaimed January 30, 2013 Mark Sumner Harvey Day in recognition of his contributions to the arts, music education and community outreach for 44 years.
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. A world-renowned composer, he has received awards and commissions from ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 15th Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert, the MIT Wind Ensemble and Meet-the-Composer-Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Commissioning Program, among others. Commissions have featured such notables as Joe Lovano, Steve Turre, Herb Pomeroy and Ran Blake. Dr. Harvey teaches jazz studies and composition at MIT. He is a founding board member of the nonprofit jazz advocacy organization JazzBoston.
Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dan Zupan/saxes & 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 & Grace Hughes, vocalists; Mark Harvey/trumpet, music director. www.aardvarkjazz.com