Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

Insight creates conversation to build community, exploring issues and events that connect people in our region. Insight covers breaking news and big ideas, music, arts & culture with responsible journalism, civil discussion and diverse voices.

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Virtuoso Pianist Vijay Iyer Brings His Sextet To The Mondavi Center

Barbara Woike / AP Photo

In this photo of March 30, 2016, composer Vijay Iyer, right, The Met Breuer museum's performance artist in residence, plays piano at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Barbara Woike / AP Photo

Vijay Iyer has quite the resume. He’s a pianist, bandleader and composer. Making music takes him around the United States and throughout the world. He’s recorded over 20 albums of original music with an amazing array of top musicians. But that’s not all. He’s also a professor of music at Harvard University.

Next are the awards. He was Jazz Times’ pianist of the year in 2017. DownBeat Magazine’s Artist of the year in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2013 he was a MacArthur Fellow, the grants often referred to as “genius grants.” The New York Times says “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.”

Born in Albany, New York, Iyer is the son of Indian Tamil parents. His early musical studies were on violin.

Iyer is playing Tuesday evening with his sextet at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis. CapRadio’s Jazz Music Director Gary Vercelli spoke with Iyer by phone in advance of the concert.

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