Called “stunningly beautiful and adventurous” (New York City Jazz Record), The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra continues its historic 45th season on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 8:00 pm, with a show on MIT’s main stage, Kresge Auditorium, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139. The orchestra will perform the premiere of director Mark Harvey’s latest work, Faces of Souls, together with other Mark Harvey originals. Presented by MIT Music & Theater Arts. Free and open to the public. Information: 617-452-3205 or 617-776-8778.

Mark Harvey’s Faces of Souls is inspired by the Charles Ives composition Boston Common and the Augustus Saint-Gaudens statue commemorating Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, heroes of the Civil War. The April 7 show will feature other works by Mark Harvey, including The Journey (honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and the struggle for civil rights), and Blue Butterfly, a blues evoking the late Brother Blue (aka Hugh Morgan Hill), a legendary storyteller famous in Boston and beyond, and a longtime friend of Aardvark. The evening finale will be Harvey’s piece No Walls, Aardvark’s anthem of hope and inclusivity.

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra has been hailed as “stunning” (, “captivating” (Jazz Improv), “spellbinding” (The Boston Globe), and “one of the best jazz ensembles in the world” (Jazz Podium, Germany). JazzTimes wrote, “Aardvark suggests the best and the brashest of Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, George Russell, and even Frank Zappa.”

Founded in 1973, Aardvark has been a force in the international jazz scene for more than 45 years. The orchestra has premiered more than 175 works and appears on 14 CDs, including 8 on the Leo Records label. Guest artists have included jazz luminaries Jaki Byard, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Giuffre, Geri Allen, Lewis Porter, Dominique Eade, Walter Thompson, and Matt Savage.

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: Allan Chase, 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/trumpet, music director. Aardvark veterans Arni Cheatham and Peter H. Bloom will miss the April 7 show, but will be back on the bandstand soon.

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