Aardvark Jazz Orchestra Continues Historic 40th Season

Praised for "awe-inspiring audience fascination" (Downbeat) and called "a bracing walk on the wild side of the big band spectrum" (JazzTimes), the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra announces its Winter/Spring 2013 season, featuring the world premiere of Mark Harvey's epic new work, Boston JazzScape (10 years in the making) at Museum of Fine Arts Boston, March 8, 2013.

The band will also perform at the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, MA (January 20, 2013) and at MIT's main stage, Kresge Auditorium (April 20, 2013), and members of Aardvark will appear with FiLmprov, performing live improvised music to the animated films of Kate Matson at MIT's Killian Hall on February 20, 2013.

Highlights of upcoming events include:

January 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm: Aardvark Jazz Orchestra performs Jazz Panorama: Basie, Ellington, Mingus and More at Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis Street, Framingham, MA 01701. Admission: $20, $19 seniors & students, $17 Amazing Things members, $10 children under 12. Information: 508-405-2787

To celebrate the New Year, the band will perform classics such as Come Sunday and Pork Pie Hat, counterpointed by Mark Harvey's fresh arrangements of the Latin-jazz Una Mas by Kenny Dorham and Miles Mode by John Coltrane.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm. Members of Aardvark in FiLmprov perform live improvised music to animated films of Kate Matson at Killian Hall, MIT, 160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142. Admission: Free. Information: 617-452-3205. Kate Matson's animations of found objects are paired with live improvised music by Aardvark members Mark Harvey, trumpet, music director; Peter Bloom, Phil Scarff, and Dan Zupan; saxes and woodwinds; Bill Lowe, bass trombone and tuba; and John Funkhouser, string bass and piano.

Friday, March 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm: Aardvark Jazz Orchestra performs the World Premiere of Boston JazzScape at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Remis Auditorium, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115. Admission: $18 members, seniors and students; $22 non-members. Reservations and information: 800-440-6975.

Aardvark marks the high point of its historic 40th season with the world premiere of Mark Harvey's epic new work, Boston JazzScape. This extended suite, composed over 10 years, shows off Harvey's prodigious skill in styles ranging from jazz, swing, blues, and rock to multi-stylistic mashups. The piece honors Boston's history, from 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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm: Aardvark Jazz Orchestra performs Echoes & Resonance, Celebrating 50 Years of Jazz at MIT at Kresge Auditorium in Cambridge, MA. Free Admission. Information: 617-452-3205

Aardvark performs on MIT's main stage as part of the 50th Anniversary of Jazz at MIT. In a show called Echoes & Resonance, music director Mark Harvey will reprise two of his major MIT commissions:Beyond (written for the MIT Wind Ensemble and featuring Herb Pomeroy and Ran Blake in the premiere), and Saxophrenia (composed for the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, featuring Joe Lovano in the premiere). The concert will also celebrate legendary musicians and their connections to Aardvark and MIT: Jaki Byard, who performed with Aardvark in 1986 in Kresge Auditorium, and Mercer Ellington, who lectured to Mark Harvey's classes at MIT and donated his arrangement of Moon Mist to the band.

A major force in the international jazz scene for 40 years, The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra is one of the longest running large jazz ensembles in North America. With wide-ranging performances in concert halls, festivals, clubs, museums, churches and other venues, 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. The band's latest CD, Evocations was named in The New York City Jazz Record Best of 2012, Large Ensemble New Releases. Evocations is the Aardvark's 11th recording and its 6th CD on Leo Records, a leading independent label whose catalogue includes such revered artists as Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Anthony Braxton and The Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Aardvark 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 has performed with Gil Evans, Claudio Roditi, Howard McGhee, Sam Rivers, Joe Carroll, Kenny Dorham and others. Dr. Harvey teaches jazz studies and composition at MIT.

Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dan Zupan/saxes & woodwinds; K.C. Dunbar, Jeanne Snodgrass, Taylor Ho Bynum/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. The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra is managed exclusively by Americas Musicworks, Rebecca DeLamotte, director. Telephone: 1-888-887-7169 or 617-776-8778.

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