Vijay Iyer: Break Stuff

trio copy-2Vijay Iyer is a Grammy-nominated jazz pianist and composer, and 2013 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant”. He is the leader of the Vijay Iyer Trio with Stephen Crumb and Marcus Gilmore, and their new album “Break Stuff“, is on sale now.

While he was a graduate student at UC Berkeley, he found himself immersed in the jazz world -images-uploads-gallery-VijayIyer_Katz_0358a_Desat_PressSizeof Oakland, specifically at the Bird Kage Club. Vijay often includes the historical and social context of jazz and African American history in his teaching and conversations around music. In fact, he gave a powerful keynote, Our Complicity with Excess, at the Yale Asian American alumni reunion last year. The transcript was posted on the Asian American Writers’ Workshop website, and it went viral.

-images-uploads-gallery-7048581843_35edab9dce_bThe first time I saw Vijay perform live was at the 2012 Portland Jazz Festival, he was collaborating with guitarist Prasanna and tabla artist, Nitin Mitta, on the album, Tirtha. I was happy to see the Trio come back this way for the same festival. I caught up with him in downtown Portland, where we talked about his keynote, the Trio’s new album, “Break Stuff” (not to be confused with Limp Bizkit), and more. This interview was featured on our April episode of APA Compass on KBOO.

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Air date: 4/3/2015 

Check out this video promoting the new album!