Aardvark Jazz Returns to Scullers: Blues, Ballads, Beyond

Music by Count Basie, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Duke Ellington, Mark Harvey

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra (39th season) returns to Scullers Jazz Club on February 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm, with Blues, Ballads and Beyond: music by jazz legends Count Basie, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham and Duke Ellington, plus originals by music director Mark Harvey. Aardvark’s inimitable take on the blues will include Basie's "Sent for You Yesterday" and Miles Davis' celebrated All Blues, in an evocative big band arrangement. Also on tap: the rarely heard Echoes of Harlem by Duke Ellington and Mark Harvey’s big band blast Three B’s and a Bop. Kenny Dorham's Latin delight Una Mas will counterpoint Caravan (Duke Ellington-Juan Tizol), an exotic Latin/jazz tour of far flung musical lands. Tickets are $20. Validated parking. 617-562-4111 or www.scullersjazz.com

Aardvark will continue the caravan after the show, as Aardvark trombonist Jay Keyser (MIT Professor Emeritus of Linguistics) will sign copies of his latest book, I Married a Travel Junkie, a chronicle of Jay's reluctant travels to more than 40 countries, (including 8 trips to Africa), led by wife and tour maven Nancy Kelly. Book sales will benefit Doctors Without Borders.

With global distribution of 10 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 almost 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 Sheila Jordan, Dominique Eade, Jaki Byard, Jimmy Giuffre, Geri Allen, Jay Clayton, Robert Honeysucker, Walter Thompson, Rajesh Mehta, Paul Lovens, and Harvie Swartz.

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 and Grace Hughes, vocalists; Mark Harvey/trumpet, music director.

A genuine musical treasure (The Boston Globe)

Aardvark salutes Ellington with lush sonorities and a saxophonic blend worthy of Duke’s finest reed sections. (JazzTimes)

Awe-inspiring audience fascination (Downbeat)

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