Lecturer Mark Harvey and his Aardvark Jazz Orchestra open their 33rd season with a new series, "Celebrating Jazz at Emmanuel: 40 Years of Jazz at Emmanuel Church & 40 Years of the Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts," on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., Boston. Tickets are $15 at the door.
The Aardvark program will include selections from Ellington's "Concert of Sacred Music," first performed in September 1965, and original works by Harvey. The jazz orchestra will also perform Harvey's tone-parallel to Walt Whitman's poem, "The Mystic Trumpeter," and premiere "Democratic Vistas," inspired by a Whitman essay of the same name, in honor of the 150th anniversary of Whitman's classic "Leaves of Grass."
Harvey will lecture on "Jazz as Celebration and Challenge" at Emmanuel Church on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. (free admission). His talk will explore the pioneering efforts of the Rev. Al Kershaw and Duke Ellington to establish rapport between jazz and religion and examine the relation of jazz to the civil rights movement.