MIT musicians participate in Jazz Week

Mark Harvey

MIT musicians will join the groove during Jazz Week, a celebration featuring more than 100 events in locations throughout the Boston area from April 21 to 29.

Boston's first jazz week in 25 years is coordinated and promoted by the nonprofit organization JazzBoston. Composer and trumpeter Mark Harvey, lecturer in the music and theater arts section and co-chair of 2007 Jazz Week, was one of the leaders of the original Boston Jazz Week in 1973.

"MIT has a strong jazz presence on campus and in the community," said Harvey. "It is only natural that faculty and students would be key participants in this venture."

The week kicks off with an "All-Star Jazz Blowout" that will include students and faculty from MIT and other area colleges--including the New England Conservatory, Harvard, Brandeis, Longy School of Music and Wellesley--all performing together. "To our knowledge, this is the first time this has ever taken place," said Harvey.

Trombonist Jay Keyser, professor emeritus and special assistant to the chancellor, and pianist Nathan Ball, graduate student in mechanical engineering and this year's winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, will be among the participants in the Blowout. The concert is Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. at Berklee Performance Center, with part of the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity Musicians' Village in New Orleans.

Keyser and Frederick Harris, director of MIT's wind ensembles, will present a lecture on big bands titled, "Tight Makes Right," on Monday, April 23, in Room 4-152 at 3:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, April 24, Harvey and Keyser will join other musicians for "A Moment in Chaos," a screening of animated films by Kate Matson accompanied by live musical improvisation. The event takes place at the Volpe Transportation Building in Kendall Square at 7:30 p.m. and is presented in conjunction with the Cambridge Science Festival. Tickets are $10. (Special note: The Volpe Center is a government building. Ticket-holders must bring photo identification and pass through security to enter. Please arrive an hour in advance of the program.)

On Friday, April 27, Harvey will moderate a panel comparing "Jazz Week Then and Now," with Arni Cheatham, Ron Gill, Marianne Solivan and Bob Young at noon at the Boston Public Library's Rabb Lecture Hall.

Harvey and his Aardvark Jazz Orchestra will close the week with a Duke Ellington birthday tribute, "Ellington and Beyond," at the Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday, April 29 at 3:30 p.m. A limited number of free tickets for this concert are available for current MIT students through the generosity of the Council for the Arts at MIT and can be picked up at the Office of the Arts in Room E15-205.

For complete listings, visit and click on "Jazz Week."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 11, 2007 (download PDF).

Topics: Arts

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