Called “stunningly beautiful and adventurous” (The New York City Jazz Record), The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra continues its 48th season with a livestream celebration of the band’s new CD, Faces of Souls on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm. Distinguished jazz journalist Bob Blumenthal will interview Aardvark founder and director Mark Harvey, and they’ll play excerpts from the CD. The album is a striking collection of works by Mark Harvey on themes of democracy, justice and equality, with powerful relevance today. Faces of Souls is Aardvark’s 16th CD and the band’s 10th release on Leo Records, one of the world’s leading independent labels.
The event is sponsored by MIT Music and Theater Arts and is free an open to the public. Registration is required. Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aardvark-virtual-livestream-interview-and-cd-release-tickets-124432792833
Audience members are invited to a Live Zoom Reception, immediately following the event.
Jean Buzelin, CultureJazz.Fr gave the new CD a rave review: “The most beautiful big band in the world…Mark Harvey has an uncanny mastery for balancing and opposing orchestral masses, and he daringly creates unusual associations and complex rhythms. His orchestra “rings,” the nuances stand out, the colors vibrate, the power is expressed fully.”
Faces of Souls takes listeners on a captivating journey through seven of Harvey’s masterful compositions, from elegies that draw on small-ensemble work, to sweeping orchestral masterpieces that weave complex tapestries of harmonies, rhythms, colors and textures. Harvey’s brilliant cast of musicians, many with 30+ years on the Aardvark bandstand, shine equally in consummate section work and inspired solos. The title track takes its inspiration from the Shaw Memorial in Boston, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ powerful sculpture of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his 54th Massachusetts Regiment, who were among the first African Americans to fight in the Civil War. The other pieces expand on the album’s themes of social justice and democratic values.
Founded in 1973, The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra marks its 48th season this Fall. The orchestra has premiered more than 180 works, and has performed extensively in clubs, concert halls, festivals, colleges, universities, and other venues. Praised for “exuberance, imagination and sheer brio” (Jazz Review, UK), the band has been called “one of the best jazz ensembles in the world” (Jazz Podium, Germany). Aardvark guest artists have included such notables as Sheila Jordan, Jaki Byard, Ricky Ford, Geri Allen, Jimmy Giuffre, Matt Savage and Dominique Eade.
Founder and music director Mark Harvey, winner of the 2019 Roy Haynes Award, has performed as trumpeter with jazz greats Claudio Roditi, Gil Evans, Howard McGhee, Kenny Dorham, Sam Rivers and others, and has recorded with George Russell and Baird Hersey. Among his 200 works are pieces written for and premiered with jazz legends Joe Lovano, Sheila Jordan, Steve Turre, Jimmy Giuffre, and Ran Blake. Dr. Harvey teaches jazz studies at MIT.
Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter H. Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, and Dan Zupan, woodwinds; KC Dunbar and Jeanne Snodgrass, trumpets; Bob Pilkington, Jay Keyser, and Jeff Marsanskis, trombones; Bill Lowe, bass trombone and tuba; Richard Nelson, guitar; Rob Bethel, cello; John Funkhouser, piano and string bass; Harry Wellott, drums; Jerry Edwards and Grace Hughes, vocalists (not performing on Faces of Souls); and Mark Harvey, piano and music director. Also on the CD are Allan Chase, Michael Heller and Alex Mekelburg, woodwinds; Tom Plsek and Randy Pingrey, trombones.
For information: Americas Musicworks, management for The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra
Rebecca DeLamotte, director, telephone: 617 776 8778.