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“Smash!” Stephen Philip Harvey Release Highlights Superheroes

Stephen P. Harvey Jazz Orchestra
Stephen Philip Harvey Jazz Orchestra

By day, Stephen Philip Harvey keeps busy teaching choir at Wicomico High School, and sax and clarinet to students at Salisbury University. When he’s not doing that, he writes music. For his latest project, he’s written a collection of pieces for big band inspired by his lifelong love of superheroes in cartoons, movies and comics. It’s a passion that began by watching Saturday morning cartoons.

“Fox Kids was the first like program set that I remember on Saturday morning,” says Harvey, “and they played shows like Power Rangers, like Spider Man, like Batman... and I really fell in love like superheroes because of that…”

As a kid, he would make his own comic books and the fascination with superheroes never waned. He feels they have something to offer beyond childish entertainment.

“We learn lessons… from these heroes,” Harvey explains. “In my mind it is just like really, really good storytelling. Like the way people love Greek mythology… I feel that is what the superheroes are. They give us these moral stories in this overarching, connected universe that spans… almost a century.”

Harvey has recorded his superhero music on an album called “Smash!” It’s the debut release by the Stephen Philip Harvey Jazz Orchestra. The selections include titles like Nefarious Plots, Vigilante, Hero’s Journey and Mechanical Men. Listen to the full interview to get a taste of the music.

SPHJO will perform live in a big band concert andCDrelease party on Friday, June 17th at 7 pm at the Ward Museum in Salisbury.

Peter Solomon is WESM's Music Director and host of Morning Jazz Unlimited, weekdays from 9 am to noon on WESM. He joined Delmarva Public Media in August 2021 after 22 years as a jazz host for an NPR affiliate in Richmond, Virginia.