Aardvark Jazz Orchestra: 40th Season Opener and CD Release Party, with vocalists Jerry Edwards and Grace Hughes. Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 8:00 pm. Scullers Jazz Club, Doubletree Guest Suites, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02134. Admission: $20. Reservations and information: 617-562-4111 or www.scullersjazz.com.
Praised for "exuberance, imagination and sheer brio" (Jazz Review UK), the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra kicks off its historic 40th season at Scullers with an exhilarating show spanning the Aardvark spectrum, from originals by director Mark Harvey to music from the Basie, Ellington, and Woody Herman bands.
The show will celebrate the release of Aardvark's 11th CD, "Evocations", on Leo Records (UK), one of the world's leading adventurous music labels. The band will perform selections from the new disc, including an evocative modernistic treatment of the New Orleans staple "Just a Closer Walk with Thee," and Mark Harvey's "Rascals and Scoundrels." Aardvark vocalists Jerry Edwards and Grace Hughes will be spotlighted in Basie's "Every Day I Have the Blues" and Ellington’s "Tell Me It's the Truth." Also on tap: Harvey's "Cantata Tubulidentata" (The Song of the Aardvarks, honoring the band's 40-year mark) and the lush "Early Autumn" by Newton native Ralph Burns, a late-1940s hit for Woody Herman and the breakthrough recording for Stan Getz.
JazzTimes wrote, "Aardvark suggests the best and the brashest of Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, George Russell, and even Frank Zappa." 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. Winner of the 2000 Independent Music Awards, the band has premiered more than 130 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.
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 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/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