CD Spotlight

11th CD Released: "EVOCATIONS"
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra EVOCATIONS CD
Already garnering enthusiastic reviews, EVOCATIONS, on Leo Records, one of the world's leading adventurous music labels, showcases the original compositions of music director Mark Harvey.   
These pieces display a masterful blend of jazz traditions and 20th-century music while allowing for much individual, collective, and conductor's improvisation. 
"a modern and absolutely unique sound"  
Jazz Podium    
"filled with never-ending movement, change, turbulence, playfulness, contradictions...that not only works but also provokes and surprises" 
UNI Magazine
(Czech Republic)
Click "Read more" below for more info and 
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Photo: Erlyn Ordinario
Jan. 31: Salute to Duke: Classics and Rarities by Duke Ellington PDF Print E-mail
Salute to Duke:  Classics and Rarities by Duke Ellington
January 31, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Hanaway Theatre, Silver Center for the Arts
114 Main Street. Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264
Adult $25-$20, Senior $23-$18, Youth $15-$10
Tickets, 603-535-2787

Aardvark makes its debut at the Silver Center with Salute to Duke—an exhilarating show ranging across a spectrum of sounds and styles in the inimitable Duke Ellington manner.  The band will perform classics like C Jam Blues, Come Sunday, Solitude, and I'm Beginning to See the Light, plus Such Sweet Thunder (from the Shakespearean Suite), Blue Pepper (from the Far East Suite), Pie Eye's Blues (from the Ellington score for Otto Preminger's film Anatomy of a Murder), and the lush and exotic Caravan.
“Lush sonorities and a saxophonic blend worthy of Duke’s finest reed sections”
 - JazzTimes
Recent: 43rd Annual Christmas Concert PDF Print E-mail
On Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 7:30 pm, concert goers celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., Boston, MA.
Aardvark joined the international celebration of Duke Ellington with a special performance marking the 50th anniversary of Duke Ellington’s historic Sacred Concerts.  Music performed included selections from the Ellington Sacred Concert inaugural 1965 performances, including Come Sunday and Tell Me It’s the Truth, along with rarities like A Song for Christmas by Billy Strayhorn and the Duke’s portrait of the Three Wise Men in a movement from his Three Black Kings suite.  Aardvark also played Ellington’s Almighty God Has Those Angels, The Shepherd Who Watches Over the Night Flock, and It’s Freedom, all from the Second Sacred Concert.  
Proceeds of the December 12 concert benefited Community Works,  a coalition of Boston-area service organizations working for education, health care, housing, and social justice for communities in need.  Attendees enjoyed an evening of magnificent music while helping Aardvark support a worthy cause.
Related event:  On December 6, 2015 Mark Harvey presented an illustrated lecture on Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA.
Mark Harvey named 2015 Boston "Jazz Hero" PDF Print E-mail
Aardvark founder and musical director Mark Harvey has been named by The Jazz Journalists Association as Boston’s 2015 Jazz Hero.  The Jazz Heroes awards are made annually to recognize jazz leaders, activists and advocates across the United States.  Trumpeter-composer-band leader Mark Harvey has led important jazz initiatives in the greater Boston area and New England for more than four decades; has performed internationally and has recorded with many jazz luminaries; has received numerous awards and commissions; has been widely acclaimed by the international jazz media; teaches jazz studies and composition at MIT; and is a board member of Jazz Boston.    
JazzBoston will present this JJA Award to Mark Harvey on Sunday, May 3, in an event at the legendary Wally's Jazz Club, 427 Mass Ave, Boston, from 3 - 5 PM.  Music by the John Funkhouser Trio and musicians are invited to sit in. This will be one of the closing events of Jazz Week, April 24 - May 3.  for information on Jazz  Week. 
Yes, Aardvark is on Facebook! 'Like' our page! PDF Print E-mail

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Recent: "Duke Ellington Blues" Concert, Newton, MA PDF Print E-mail

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra performed Duke Ellington Blues as part of the Highland Jazz Series on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 8:00 pm, at the Newton South High School in Newton Centre, MA.

The concernt, Duke Ellington Blues, was an exuberant tour across many decades, including C Jam Blues, Such Sweet Thunder, Portrait of Mahalia, Blue Pepper (from The Far East Suite), and The Shepherd (a powerful blues from the Second Sacred Concert).

For more information about Highland Jazz, visit: 

Recent: "Eclectic Explorations" Concert, MIT PDF Print E-mail
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra:  Eclectic Explorations
Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Killian Hall, MIT, 160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 
Aardvark opened the performance with a beautifully improvised elegy for the people of Paris and the world. AJO performed an array of Mark Harvey originals from the lively blues Merry Go Round to the multi-stylistic No Walls to the premiere of Tritonology. Attendees enjoyed wide-ranging sounds and styles of progressive jazz with a special presentation of FiLmprov Cha Cha Cha!, animated film by Kate Matson with improvised soundtrack.  The concert was presented in conjunction with MIT's class, 21M.342, Composing for Jazz Orchestra.
More on the 43rd Concert Season PDF Print E-mail

Join Aardvark Jazz Orchestra for our 43rd season concerts. Get information about upcoming concerts now and plan to attend this fall, winter and in spring 2016!  

New CD: Impressions PDF Print E-mail
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra CD Impressions
The new CD “IMPRESSIONS” features seven compositions by Aardvark music director Mark Harvey that Francois Couture has called “highly enjoyable . . . with convincing writing and strong performances.” (Monsieur Delire/Canada).  The music conjures up a variety of moods, emotions, and tone colors, as well as inspirations from socio-cultural events in Boston’s history, such as the struggle for desegregation of the public schools, the urban renewal fiasco of the old West End neighborhood, and the tragedy of Sacco and Vanzetti.  This exploratory music ranges from the lyrical to the Dada-esque, from the meditative to the monumental. 

Reviews of the recording are enthusiastic:

“Exceptional music”  Ken Cheetham, Jazz Views

“Strange, brooding harmonic language…beautiful playing throughout” Jon Garelick, The Artery/WBUR Radio

“It’s great music. Aardvark have an eloquence in their improvisation written inside the art of orchestration.  A pity Duke and The Count can’t hear where their great art form has gotten to.”  Steve Davis/What’s New Jazz Magazine, UK
Click Read More below for ordering information. 
Aardvark's "No Walls" Named Official Song of Jazz Week PDF Print E-mail
 Jazz Week has declared Mark Harvey's composition "No Walls, " the official song of Jazz  Week. And the music has inspired the theme for the week, April 25 through May 4  "No Walls: A Salute to the Power of Jazz to Bring People Together," especially significant in this season commemorating the first Boston Marathon since last year's tragedy. Read the Globe article.
To obtain a recording of "No Walls," the culminating work of the CD "No Walls: A Christmas Concert," please send a check payable to Aardvark for $15 [shipping and handling included] with your name and postal address to Mark Harvey, PO Box 8721, JFK Station, Boston MA 02114..\ 
Boston Globe Review: Aardvark Jazz Orchestra marks two anniversaries PDF Print E-mail

 Aardvark Jazz Orchestra's April 21st concert at MIT was featured  in a review in the Sunday Boston Globe:

CAMBRIDGE ­— When you think “jazz college,” MIT probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But this year, MIT is celebrating 50 years with jazz on the curriculum, going back to the hiring of Herb Pomeroy in 1963. Saturday night, current MIT jazz-faculty member Mark Harvey led his Aardvark Jazz Orchestra in a program at Kresge Auditorium that celebrated the MIT benchmark as well as the 40th anniversary of his band, and, coincidentally, Jazz Appreciation Month... Read the full story at the  

Gifts for the Fan: Aardvark T-Shirts PDF Print E-mail

A brand new AARDVARK T-SHIRT is now available in most sizes with an elegant design -- red on either black or teal shirts.  (To check on availability of specific sizes, please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Click images at right to view a larger image.

To order, please send a check for $17 (shipping & handling included) payable to Aardvark c/o Mark Harvey, PO Box 8721, JFK Station, Boston, MA 02114.  Order now for prompt delivery and best selection! 

Featured Video -- Sumner: A Biography in Jazz PDF Print E-mail

Click the image below to watch the video in a new window on YouTube.
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Aardvark by the Book PDF Print E-mail
 Aardvark has received a highly complimentary mention in a brand-new book by composer/educator Graham Collier entitled the jazz composer: moving music off the paper (London: Northway Publications, 2009), p. 124.

Discussing a quartet of international ensembles, including Aardvark, and comparing these with some of the recognized names in today's big band music, Collier writes...
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