10/28 Online: Celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Rite for All Souls

Modern jazz online celebration and discussion

Join Mark Harvey and Peter H. Bloom on October 28 for a Live Zoom Conversation, with video and musical excerpts, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Rite for All Souls, a groundbreaking performance by The Mark Harvey Group five decades ago.

Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 7:00 pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

The Mark Harvey Group: 50th Anniversary Celebration, A Rite for All Souls

  • Live Zoom Conversation with Mark Harvey and Peter H. Bloom
  • Encore presentation of Mark and Peter’s 2020 video-interview with veteran jazz writer Bob Blumenthal
  • Excerpts from the CD, A Rite for All Souls, live concert recording of the 1971 performance

Free admission

Registration required. Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/50th-anniversary-of-a-rite-for-all-souls-zoom-conversation-and-video-tickets-187825500127

Long lost 1971 Boston jazz recording

On October 31, 1971, with American democracy in turmoil, The Mark Harvey Group (Mark Harvey, brasswinds; Peter H. Bloom, woodwinds; and their late colleagues Craig Ellis and Michael Standish, percussion) composed and performed A Rite for All Souls at Boston’s venerable Old West Church – a powerful aesthetic response to the times.

A Rite for All Souls was a single extended musical work of instrumental movements punctuated by brief recitations. The diversity of sonic experiences, the musical and poetic interactions, the theatrical gestures and stagecraft all combined to create a profound experience, conjoining artistic expression, social protest, and spiritual healing.

Reel-to-reel recording discovery reveals long-lost jazz jewel

A superb live concert recording of the 1971 performance, lost for nearly 5 decades, was re-discovered in 2018. The original reel-to-reel tapes were digitally remastered to create an audiophile-quality 2-CD set (with booklet) documenting the event. The album A Rite for All Souls was released in July 2020

Celebrating Boston jazz 50 years later

Mark Harvey and Peter Bloom, surviving members of the Mark Harvey Group, will hold a Live Zoom Event on October 28, 2021 at 7:00 pm to mark the 50th anniversary of A Rite for All Souls. The evening will include brief introductions from Mark and Peter, and an encore viewing of their 2020 video-interview with veteran jazz writer Bob Blumenthal (with excerpts from the CD). After the video, everyone will return to the Live Zoom room for questions and conversations.

Praise for A Rite for All Souls from jazz critics

“Extraordinary…strange and wonderful…cosmically unusual….A Rite for All Souls is a deeply engaging series of improvisations, sound worlds and rich musical expression.”

Donald Elfman, The New York City Jazz Record, July 2020

“This music of bracing power was born of an alertness and sensitivity to prevailing musical currents, and offered its own strikingly original point of view on the free jazz revolution … the four players proved adept at blending and overlapping their sounds into an intricately stitched together ensemble music – churning percussion providing a magic carpet which lifts the players toward the heavens.”

Philip Clark, The Wire (UK)

“An entire recital of experimental sounds…moving between serenity and turmoil, raging sounds, and the most respectful silence…a very interesting historical document that can serve as a beacon to current minds.

Felix Amador, Jazz, ese ruido (Spain), June 2020

“Harvey and his partners are indeed wrestling with demons here, and it is a potent thing to behold.

Troy Dostert, AllAboutJazz.com, July 2020