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Illustrious Aardvark Jazz Orchestra to Celebrate 45th Annual Christmas Concert
Legendary Aardvark Jazz Orchestra to perform favorite jazz carols and joyful music by director Mark Harvey, as the band celebrates 45th Annual Christmas Concert, a Boston holiday tradition. Proceeds to benefit Poor People's United Fund.
Aardvark has been called "stunningly beautiful" (New York City Jazz Record) and "sumptuous…an exceptional big band" (CultureJazz.France)
The December 9 concert will feature several of Mark Harvey's works that received their premieres at previous Christmas concerts: The Prophet (December 1997), inspired by Boston's legendary social activist Kip Tiernan (1926-2011), founder of Rosie's Place and co-founder of Poor People's United Fund; Blue Butterfly (December 2009) for legendary storyteller Brother Blue, who performed for more than 50 years in schools, libraries, churches, prisons, and street corners in Boston and beyond; and No Walls, Aardvark's anthem of hope and inclusivity, first performed in December 2004 as a tribute to Doctors Without Borders. The band will also perform Peter H. Bloom's piece "I Remember Craig" in honor of the late Craig Ellis, Aardvark's beloved percussionist.
Proceeds of the December 9 concert will benefit Poor People's United Fund, an organization fighting poverty and homelessness through education, advocacy, support to grassroots service organizations, and emergency assistance to families and individuals.
Led by founder/music director Mark Harvey, The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra gave its first concert December 23, 1973 at the Church of the Covenant in Boston as a benefit for the Chelsea Fire Fund. Every year since then, the band has held a Christmas concert to support a deserving cause, as part of the band's commitment to social justice, community outreach, and inclusiveness. Past beneficiaries have included Doctors Without Borders, American Friends Service Committee, Rosie's Place, Pine Street Inn, and dozens more. Esteemed guests who have joined the Aardvark Christmas concerts include Sheila Jordan, Howard McGhee, Semenya McCord, Joe Carroll, Ron Gill, Jack Powers, Kip Tiernan, and Brother Blue.
Aardvark has premiered more than 175 works and appears on 14 CDs, including 8 discs on Leo Records. http://www.aardvarkjazz.com
Mark Harvey has 200 compositions in his catalogue, has performed internationally and recorded with esteemed jazz artists, teaches jazz history and composition at MIT, and was named Boston Jazz Hero 2015 for his social activism and advocacy in the jazz community spanning more than four decades. He is a retired Methodist minister.
Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter H. Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dan Zupan, Dylan Sherry/saxes and woodwinds; K.C. Dunbar, Jeanne Snodgrass/trumpets;
Rebecca DeLamotte, Americas Musicworks