Vijay Iyer Interview

Source: Edinburgh Festival.

This radical openness defines Iyer’s music, which dissolves boundaries between mainstream and avant-garde jazz, classical music, hip-hop, funk and electronica. He’s just at home playing compositions by jazz greats like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk as he is reinterpreting pop hits by M.I.A. or Michael Jackson. Iyer has also written concert music, such as Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, a 2013 collaboration with filmmaker Prhashant Bhargava. A 2013 MacArthur Fellow and Harvard Professor of Music, Iyer has undertaken a formidable range of projects since he emerged in the 1990s as a sideman to the innovative saxophonist Steve Coleman. In addition to various solo and group projects, Iyer has regularly collaborated with the saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, spoken word artist Mike Ladd, and the veteran avant-garde trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, with whom he recorded the beautiful duo suite A Cosmic Rhythm With Every Stroke.