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The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra and the Colby College Chorale will perform on Saturday, February 28, at Colby College. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel on the Waterville campus. Part of the 2003-04 Music at Colby Concert Series, it is open to the public and free of charge.

Now celebrating its 31st season, Boston’s Aardvark Jazz Orchestra has been hailed by Jazz Times as “a bracing walk on the wild side of the big band spectrum.” Aardvark Jazz Orchestra will provide a roof-raising musical tour of Aardvark originals and Duke Ellington masterpieces, including selections with the Colby College Chorale under the direction of Paul Machlin, Colby’s Arnold Bernhard Professor of Arts and Humanities.

The band will celebrate the full range of Ellington’s creative genius, from his late 1920s masterpiece “The Mooche” to the soul-stirring “Freedom” from his Sacred Concerts. Band leader, trumpeter and composer Mark Harvey’s creative explorations will be anchored by “Swing Landscape,” from the critically acclaimed suite “Painting for Jazz Orchestra,” as well as recent works from the ever-expanding Aardvark repertory. The band also will perform “Dark Side,” a new piece by Maine jazz composer and long-time Aardvark guitarist Richard Nelson.

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra specializes in original works by Harvey and intriguing interpretations of Ellington, Ives, Gottschalk, Billings and other American masters. Winner of the 2000 Independent Music Awards, Aardvark has premiered more than 70 new works and has released seven CDs to international acclaim.

This performance is the annual Strider Concert. The Robert and Helen Strider Concert Fund was established 25 years ago this month in honor of Colby’s 17th president and his wife.

For more information about this year’s schedule of Music at Colby events contact the Music Department at 207-872-3236.