The illustrious Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, called “exhilarating” (Allaboutjazz), “captivating” (Jazz Improv”), and “spellbinding” (The Boston Globe), celebrates its 44th Annual Christmas concert with selections from the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite – an exuberant big band take on the perennial classic. Also on tap: up-tempo jazz carols and joyful music by Aardvark founder/director Mark Harvey. Proceeds will benefit the Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), a multi-faith organization that provides support to persons who have been uprooted by violence. The show is December 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116. Tickets: $20 at the door. Information: 617-776-8778 or 617-452-3205. “Lush sonorities and a saxophonic blend worthy of Duke’s finest reed sections” (JazzTimes).


The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra gave its first concert December 23, 1973 at the Church of the Covenant in Boston as a benefit for the Chelsea Fire Fund. Every year since then, the band has held a Christmas concert to support a deserving cause. Past beneficiaries have included Doctors Without Borders, American Friends Service Committee, Rosie’s Place, Pine Street Inn, and dozens more. Guest artists at Aardvark’s Christmas Concerts have included Sheila Jordan, Howard McGhee, Semenya McCord, Joe Carroll, Ron Gill, Jack Powers, Kip Tiernan, Brother Blue and other notables.

Aardvark is: Arni Cheatham, Peter H. Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dylan Sherry/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/trumpet, music director.

Trumpeter/composer Mark Harvey has almost 200 compositions in his catalogue, has performed internationally and recorded with esteemed jazz artists, teaches jazz history and composition at MIT, and was named Boston Jazz Hero 2015 for his social activism and advocacy in the jazz community spanning more than four decades. He is a retired Methodist minister.

Founded in 1986, Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM) has brought volunteers together from many cultures and faiths to provide community-based services to uprooted and often isolated persons. RIM’s programs include spiritual care, English classes, job placement assistance, and community-based resettlement. RIM provides friendship, acculturation opportunities and support for clients, at the most vulnerable time of their lives, helping clients to prepare for employment and make the cultural adaptation necessary for success.

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