Recent Concert: Aardvark Jazz Orchestra with Guest Artist Ricky Ford, Music by Duke Ellington and Mark Harvey

Aardvark Jazz Orchestra features Ricky Ford saxophonistThe Aardvark Jazz Orchestra continued its 46th season on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 8:00 pm, with a show on MIT’s main stage, Kresge Auditorium, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. The concert was presented by MIT Music & Theater Arts.

Acclaimed tenor saxophonist Ricky Ford joined the orchestra as guest artist.  Ford has played with the Ellington Orchestra under Mercer Ellington, and with Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Abdullah Ibrahim, and other jazz luminaries. He recorded 21 albums as bandleader, and appears on recordings with Yusef Lateef, Sonny Stitt, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, and Steve Lacy, to name a few.

The April 6 show celebrated the 120th birthday of Duke Ellington (1899-1974) with music by the maestro including Chinoiserie and Praise God and Dance (from the Second Sacred Concert). Also on the program:  the premiere of director Mark Harvey’s latest work entitled Of the People, together with other Mark Harvey originals, including No Walls, Aardvark’s anthem of hope and inclusivity.

Founded in 1973, Aardvark has premiered more than 175 works and appears on 15 CDs, including 9 discs on the Leo Records label.  The band’s latest CD, Democratic Vistas (Leo Records, November 2018) has been praised for compositions “that swing and sway like a trapeze on a loose rope, making the listener hold on tight to hang on!” (Jazz Weekly).  Aardvark guest artists have included jazz notables Jaki Byard, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Giuffre, Geri Allen, Lewis Porter, Dominique Eade, Walter Thompson, and Matt Savage.

Aardvark founder and music director Mark Harvey has performed at the Knitting Factory, the Village Gate, the National Gallery of Art (DC), Fenway Park, Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Berlin Jazz Festival (Germany), and the Baja State Theater (Mexico), to name a few.  He has recorded with George Russell and Baird Hersey, and performed with Gil Evans, Howard McGhee, Sam Rivers, and others.  Dr. Harvey teaches jazz studies at MIT.

Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter H. Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dan Zupan/saxes and 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/piano, music director.

Saturday, April 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Presented by MIT Music & Theater Arts

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra is managed by Americas Musicworks, Rebecca DeLamotte, director, telephone 617 776 8778, email: