- Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith
Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith
They’ve performed together in Smith’s much-heralded Golden Quartet, and now two of the jazz world’s most powerful performers, Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith join forces for performances to support their Fall 2016 duo recording for ECM Records. In the tradition of Joseph “King” Oliver with Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, and Louis Armstrong with Earl “Fatha” Hines, Wadada and Vijay will explore the rich, resonant textures of that distinctive combination of piano and trumpet.
Grammy nominee Vijay Iyer was named DownBeat Magazine's 2015 Artist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. Break Stuff, Iyer’s latest record and his twentieth release as a leader, received a coveted five stars in DownBeat magazine, with the German newspaper Die Zeit calling it, “as astonishing as it is intoxicating.” Iyer is a professor of music at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.
Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most boldly original figures in American jazz and creative contemporary music and one of the great trumpet players of our time. Named “one of the 80 coolest things in jazz today” in DownBeat Magazine, Wadada was voted 2015 Composer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. His landmark civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Together, they create powerful and distinctive music.
Vijay Iyer/Wadada Leo Smith, Vitous and Bärtsch albums head up ECM new releases - Jazzwise Magazine, Feb 25 2016
an American pianist repeatedly ranked among the best improvisers of his generation, who will perform concerts at NYU Abu Dhabi tomorrow and on Friday.
Vijay Iyer at Sanders Theatre — March 20, 2017, The Bay State Banner
Iyer prefers the term “creative music” to jazz; but he is rooted in its fundamentals, including its consolation and uplift, improvisational give-and-take and syncopated rhythms.
"Iyer was voted top Jazz Artist in the Critics Poll, marking the third time he has won the honor, following wins in 2012 and 2015."
Weaving the dreams of veterans with music, poetry to translate experience of war – May 30, 2016, News Works
“[Vijay] Iyer and Ladd found the stories less told, less known and focused on what interested them, the experiences of people of color before and after the military.”
Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke Review – May 17, 2016, Stereophile
“I’ve listened to this album several times now, and it’s growing on me with each play.”
Vijay Iyer talks Improvisation and Basketball - Wisconsin Public Radio NPR, April 28, 2016
You could make a strong case that improvisation is the essence of jazz. But to hear jazz pianist Vijay Iyer tell it, improvising is something we all do, even if we aren’t musicians.
NPR: Vijay Iyer Trio at Metropolitan Museum of Art - May 06, 2015
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that Vijay Iyer will be their Artist-In-Residence for the 2015-2016 season.
NPR: Tiny Desk Concert: Vijay Iyer Trio- May 05, 2015
Vijay Iyer Trio perform pieces from Break Stuff on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concerts series.
Vijay to Join the Met as Artist-in-Residence - April 29 2015
Philly.com: Two sides of pianist Vijay Iyer, both striking - April 21 2015
"The second set displayed one of modern jazz's most exhilarating groups at the height of its powers, focusing on pieces from its just-released Break Stuff..."
Jazz News: Vijay Iyer est Déjà Demain - February 2015
Jazz News Magazine features Vijay and Break Stuff in their February issue (No. 39).
CD of the Week - Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff Review - February 16 , 2015
All About Jazz Italia selects Break Stuff as CD of the week and publishes a 4 1/2 star review (in Italian). Read full review here.
Vijay Iyer, Prashant Bhargava: Rhade Rhade - Rites of Holi - February 16 , 2015
All About Jazz Italia reviews Rhade Rhade: Rites of Holi (in Italian). Read full review here.
The progressive jazz of Vijay Iyer - February 8 , 2015
Spettakolo! Reviews Break Stuff (in Italian).
Vijay Iyer, high class jazz piano - February 2 , 2015
Affaritaliani reviews Break Stuff (in Italian).
Die Ziet: Break Stuff Review - January 29, 2015
The January 29th Issue of Germany's Die Ziet raves about Vijay's new record. "...this record is very, very, very good...” ”...As astonishing as intoxicating...”
Downbeat Magazine: Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff - January 20, 2015
The Vijay Iyer Trio's upcoming (Feb 10) release, Break Stuff, receives a 5-star review in the March 2015 issue of Downbeat Magazine.
France Musique - Vijay Iyer s'offre un break en trio - January 19, 2015
Review of Break Stuff (in French).
New York Times: Conscience of a Composer; Vijay Iyer Performs at BAM - December 19, 2014
"Mr. Iyer’s music was prismatic and encompassing: a knowing homage to Stravinsky’s spiky and propulsive motifs, a mesh of jazz harmonies with Indian modes, a flamboyant orchestral display, an atmospheric swirl..."
New York Times: Jazz Pianist’s Multiple Worlds - December 12, 2014
"There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer."
"Break Stuff features Vijay Iyer's long-running and widely-acclaimed trio with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore, a band in existence for eleven years now..."
"Iyer's mutant style -- at the intersection of two rich but usually parallel traditions -- should make him one of the most interesting draws at this year's Chicago Humanities Festival.
"A pianist, composer and 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Iyer’s concerts can work as lessons as much as performances, although his main goal is the same as any musician’s: enliven, push, liberate..."
From Jazz Open Source Vijay Iyer: Jazz in the 21st Century Vijay Iyer brings you inside the head of a jazz improviser and describes the expressive give and take conversation musicians are having with each other. Listen to the whole show...
Take a tour of the MacArthur genius’s home in Harlem, including a look at his Steinway, favorite books and percussion instruments from India. View the video
The Boston Globe: Vijay Iyer takes career moment to moment - March 13, 2014
"Vijay Iyer leans against a wall in Harvard’s Music Building as sound fills the classroom. He’s listening to a recording of one of his students, a freshman, in a high school group. The playing is assured; a small smile on Iyer’s face shows he’s impressed...."
"Vijay Iyer's new release bridges string quartet and improvistion..."