Alumnus Stephen Harvey Brings Jazz Orchestra to Seton Hill for August 14 Performance

Passionate about both jazz and pop culture, composer and Seton Hill alumnus Stephen Philip Harvey '14 never shies away from blending both into his writing. In his current large ensemble project, Smash!, Harvey uses contemporary big band writing styles and genre-blending idioms to bring comic book inspired pieces to life. 

The Stephen Philip Harvey Jazz Orchestra will be performing the music of Smash! at the Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center on Saturday, August 14, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are being sold at until Friday, August 13.

“I’m very excited to return to Seton Hill to perform this original music,” Harvey said. “The Performing Arts Center was like home to me for four years, and this is bound to be a special stop on the tour.”

“Outside of music, I live and breathe superheroes,” Harvey added. “It had been a long-time idea to combine these two passions into a project. I wanted to write music that would have a fun, accessible quality to it, while still bringing light back to the American large jazz ensemble.” Harvey, currently located in Salisbury, Maryland, is heading back to the Pittsburgh area to record these compositions with a 17-piece ensemble of musicians following a four-date tour in August.

The compositions in Smash! combine elements of big band jazz, fusion, funk, rock, and cinematic score to bring classic characters and scenes off the page. These two sets of music take you from your seats and put you right in the battle of hero vs. villain. Whether you want to fly through the skies, hatch a nefarious plot, or just smash something, the SPHJO has a piece for you.

The SPHJO is comprised of some of the best musicians from the Greater Pittsburgh Area and Northeast Ohio region. Members of this ensemble have their own national profile and have performed with a number of recognizable musicians and groups: the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Ralph Lalama, Slide Hampton, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Dick Oatts, Sean Jones, Josh Groban, Brandon Flowers, the Vindys, and many others.

PHOTO CREDIT: Andrew Tawes Photography