Mark S. Harvey ’68 BA (American Studies) Highlights History Lessons Through Jazz

Aardvark%20Jazz%20Orch[1]Dr. Mark S. Harvey, a 1968 graduate of the American Studies program, didn’t leave the lessons he learned in Maxwell behind as he went on to become a jazz composer: his Boston JazzScape Suite presents movements with inspirations from various historical and cultural events, people and places; many of which he first learned about as a student at Syracuse University more than fifty years ago.

Harvey currently teaches jazz at MIT and has a professional jazz orchestra now celebrating its 40th season. The Boston JazzScape Suite will be premiered at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on March 8, 2013. Some of the historical and cultural themes of the piece include Sacco and Vanzetti, the classic case of urban renewal gone wrong in Boston’s West End, a back story to “Charlie on the MTA,” the long journey toward school desegregation, as well as tributes to musical figures from Colonial-era composer William Billings to Civil War musician/showman Patrick S. Gilmore (who presented mammoth “Peace Jubilees” in the aftermath of the Civil War), and more.

He notes, “I was introduced to the Sacco-Vanzetti tragedy while a student, as the large mural at H.B. Crouse was being installed, and to the West End story through my urban sociology course at Maxwell. There is some direct connection here, now realized in my musical work.”

Maxwell alums in the Boston area are warmly invited to attend his 21st century salute to Boston on Friday, March 8 at Boston Museum of Fine Arts. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, click here.

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