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Aardvark Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Historic 40th Season; Composer-led Orchestra Launches 5th Decade With New CD On Leo Records


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Boston, MA: The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, one of the longest continuously operating large jazz ensembles in North America, announces its historic 40th season 2012-2013. The season will feature original works by founder/music director Mark Harvey, with Boston-area performances to include: a season opener/CD-release at Scullers Jazz Club on October 3, a post-election show of Satire & Salutations at MIT’s Killian Hall on November 10, Aardvark’s 40th Annual Christmas Concert at Emmanuel Church on December 15, a New Year’s celebration January 20 at the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, the world premiere of Harvey’s Boston JazzScape at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts on March 8, and a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jazz at MIT on April 20.

The 2012-2013 season also marks the international release of Aardvark’s latest CD, Evocations, on Leo Records, one of the world’s leading adventurous music labels, whose catalogue includes such notables as Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Anthony Braxton and The Art Ensemble of Chicago. The Scullers show on October 3rd will be the band’s CD release party.

Jazz Review (UK) hailed Aardvark’s “exuberance, imagination and sheer brio,” while JazzTimes wrote, “Aardvark suggests the best and the brashest of Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, George Russell, and even Frank Zappa." Winner of the 2000 Independent Music Award, the band has premiered more than 130 works for jazz orchestra; has released 11 CDs (6 on Leo Records); and has toured widely at concert halls, festivals, clubs, colleges and universities, and major cultural institutions. Known for innovative and imaginative programs, the orchestra has performed with film, dance and poetry and collaborated with concert choirs, chamber ensembles, and symphony orchestras. Guest artists have included 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 new CD, Evocations (Leo Records, CD LR 637), has been praised for its “postmodern aesthetic...a modern and absolutely unique sound" (Jazz Podium, Germany) and “never-ending movement, change, turbulence, playfulness, contradictions…provokes and surprises." (Uni Magazine, Czech Republic)

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 has performed with Gil Evans, Claudio Roditi, Howard McGhee, Sam Rivers, Joe Carroll, Kenny Dorham and others. An internationally acclaimed 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 at MIT.

Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dan Zupan/saxophones & 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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