Vijay Iyer

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today” and by The New Yorker as one of “today’s most important pianists…extravagantly gifted.” Voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, Iyer has released fifteen albums as a leader, most recently Tirtha (2011), Solo (2010), and the multiple-award-winning Historicity (2009), which features the Vijay Iyer Trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass). Historicity was a 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album and was named No. 1 Jazz Album of the Year by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Metro Times, National Public Radio,, the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll, and the Downbeat International Critics Poll. The trio won the 2010 Echo Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international ensemble and the Downbeat Critics Poll for rising star small ensemble of the year. Iyer’s awards also include the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous composer commissions.

Iyer has collaborated with Steve Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dave Binney, Dafnis Prieto, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Amina Claudine Myers, Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, Dead Prez, Das Racist, Imani Uzuri, John Zorn, DJ Spooky, Karsh Kale, and Talvin Singh; filmmakers Haile Gerima and Bill Morrison; choreographer Karole Armitage; and poets Mike Ladd, Amiri Baraka, Charles Simic, and Robert Pinsky. His works have been performed by Ethel, JACK, Brentano String Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, Hermès Ensemble, and Imani Winds.

A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, Iyer holds a BS in Mathematics and Physics from Yale University and a Master’s in Physics and PhD in Technology and the Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published articles in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, and The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010. He joined the jazz faculty at Manhattan School of Music in 2010.