Vijay Iyer
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Last week was extraordinary– celebrating International Jazz Day with the world and the Jazz at Lincoln Center 2014 gala, Love, Loss and Laughter: The Story keep reading »

Pianist and composer Vijay Iyer has been a front-runner in numerous critics’ polls including the 2012 DownBeat International Critics Poll where he was recognized in keep reading »

Vijay Iyer is the type of artist that can speak equally eloquently and intelligently on a musical and academic level about the work he is doing and the goals he sets for both himself and his projects. We sat down with Iyer at a very interesting time for the pianist and composer in that he has the rare opportunity to look into the future and already see the tangible success he will be achieving in the next few years. Read on as we discuss the recent past in ‘Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project,’ his coming weekend’s big band concert, and his future teaching with tenure at Harvard as well as receiving a MacArthur Genius Grant.

The annual Red Bull Music Academy has grown into a hotly anticipated event of seminars, classes and performances, and being held in New York City for the first time has driven the quality and demand up to new heights. In one of the most anticipated events of the month long festival, A Night of Improvised Round Robin Duets at Brooklyn Masonic Temple was a magnet of multiple genres and sensibilities, making for an once-in-a-lifetime musical potluck that nourished music lovers of all types. Here’s a recap of every duet:

Vijay Iyer’s Accelerando highlights a certain something that our close-knit community has known for quite a while. Iyer’s virtuosic sense of groove defies the confines of genre or arrangement. He simply brings it. Whether that be in his string arrangements, collegiate dissertations on cognition and music, or here in one of his numerous trio formats, Iyer possesses the unique ability to impress your taste while appealing to your senses with his unpretentiously energizing passages. With the equally talented Marcus Gilmore on drums and Stephan Crump holding down the low-end this trio can’t get a whole lot better if it wanted to.

The Instruments Issue centers on exceptional, challenging or thought-provoking moments and movements in jazz. At the heart of our creative energy for this issue is an insistence on understanding the musician’s experience and illuminating the mystery around their instruments.

The Jazz Gallery will be having its annual holiday party on Monday 12/5 from 6pm-10pm. There will be a collaborative musical performance by Miguel Zenon, Vijay Iyer, Fima Ephron, and Nate Smith, all of whom have proved to be both exciting and innovative with their music in the past year. Space for the event is limited to the first 60 RSVPs from those with at least a Solo Membership to The Jazz Gallery.

The 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival kicks off tomorrow with the weekend holding performances by the likes of the Jeff “Tain” Watts Drum Club, Jason Moran & Bandwagon, the Dave Holland Octet, Warren Wolf & WOLFPAC, the Sun Ra Arkestra, Sean Jones, Joe Lovano, Vijay Iyer, Paquito D’Rivera, Anat Cohen, and the Karriem Riggins Ensemble ft. Common among many others.

What is the sound of a people reaching for freedom, seeking transformation? Quite simply it is the newly released Tirtha, on the ACT Music label. The answer emerges in the inaugural project of a trio comprised of acclaimed artists Vijay Iyer, Nitin Mitta and Prasanna. Tirtha, a Sanskrit word meaning spiritual pilgrimage to a holy place near a body of water, brilliantly melds swatches of Hindustani, Western jazz and traditional Carnatic music and unfolds like a transcendental voyage.

Tamar-Kali is no novice at conveying profoundly worldly messages in the forms of dizzying aural experiences matched with daring visuals. Her newest performance piece and project Pseudoacoustic debuted at The Kitchen this past Thursday and Friday showing a more soft and sensual side of Tamar-Kali backed with a “pseudo” acoustic band, including Vijay Iyer (piano) and Somi (vocals) on the first night, and aerialist Kiebpoli Calnek on the second, and Mariel Berger on both (accordion), though there was no shortage of metal drum rhythms, and electric guitars.