• The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, shown performing with MIT Lecturer Mark Harvey on trumpet, will perform a free concert Saturday, April 30, at Kresge Auditorium.

    Photo / V.J. Zabek

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Aardvark trumpets Jazz Month


Jazz up your weekend with a little "Trumpet Madness."

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra (AJO) under the direction of MIT Lecturer Mark Harvey will be performing its spring concert on Saturday, April 30, featuring music from its latest CD, "Trumpet Madness."

The concert will celebrate national Jazz Appreciation Month and will feature a brief salute to Duke Ellington, whose birthday is observed every April 29.

The free concert, which begins at 8 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, will also feature recent extended works for jazz orchestra by Harvey.

Joining the band for the Ellington salute will be vocalist Grace Hughes, who made her Aardvark debut at the orchestra's holiday concert. The AJO will reprise Harvey's composition "No Walls," a work inspired by and dedicated to Doctors Without Borders, which also debuted at that concert. Finally, the band will present the Boston-area premiere of "Modern Invention," commissioned by the Organization of American Kodaly Educators with partial funding from Meet the Composer and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Renowned improvisational vocalist Jay Clayton will perform "Modern Invention," a work inspired by the 18th century Boston composer William Billings. Clayton has worked with Steve Reich, Bobby McFerrin, Gary Bartz and many other leading artists.

Aardvark's eighth CD recording, "Trumpet Madness," features several trumpeters, as well as the entire Aardvark Orchestra in both solo and collective improvisational roles. Among the trumpeters are Harvey, soloing on Taylor Ho Bynum's "Concerto for Orchestra and Improviser"; Berlin-based MIT alumnus Rajesh Mehta (S.B. 1986) on Harvey's "Spirals," which was written especially for Mehta and his percussion collaborator Paul Lovens; and Ho Bynum, Mehta, Greg Kelley and Jeanne Snodgrass, who join Harvey on the title tune "Trumpet Madness," an improvisational tour de force.

K.C. Dunbar, Jimmy Leach and Eric Dahlman can be heard on several other tracks, rounding out what Harvey calls a "trumpetistic panorama." All selections were recorded in live performance, five of them at MIT. Six of the seven cuts are world premieres.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 27, 2005 (download PDF).


Topics: Music technology, Arts

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