From The Boston Globe:
“My name’s Vijay Iyer, I play piano, and I. . .” — brief pause — “work here in town,” the natty musician said from the stage at the Regattabar on Friday evening, welcoming the audience to the first set of a two-night stand. That last detail seemed meant to acknowledge a sizable portion of the crowd that evidently had trooped up the road from Harvard, where Iyer is a professor in the music department.
Harvard is among the facts that have become de rigueur to cite in reporting on Iyer’s work. Others include his South Indian heritage, his formidable academic C.V., his burgeoning sideline in composing concert music, and his award of a MacArthur “genius grant” in 2013. Those points, salient and not, at times have been used to exile Iyer from whatever passes for a jazz mainstream.