Musical Genre as a Creation of Racial Capitalism
Musician Vijay Iyer in conversation with Editor Kamil Ahsan
We go through these cycles of the mainstream press declaring jazz dead, then rediscovering it. There's a savior! That narrative's really problematic. It excludes and erases countless Black musicians who have been at the vanguard for decades.
RECOMMENDED: Uneasy (ECM, 2021): Vijay Iyer with Tyshawn Sorey and Linda May Han Oh.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Watch the interview on YouTube or IGTV.
Race & Genre
Black Radical Traditions
Post-George Floyd Moment
Black Speculative Musicalities
Insurgence in Jazz
Critical Improvisation Studies
The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition
VIJAY IYER is a composer-pianist who has been described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway.” He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, a Grammy nomination, and the Alpert Award in the Arts, and was voted Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year four times in the last decade. He has released twenty-four albums of his music, most recently UnEasy (ECM Records, 2021), a trio session with drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Linda May Han Oh; The Transitory Poems (ECM, 2019), a live duo recording with pianist Craig Taborn; Far From Over (ECM, 2017) with the award-winning Vijay Iyer Sextet; and A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) a suite of duets with visionary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. He recently served as composer-in-residence at London’s Wigmore Hall, music director of the Ojai Music Festival, and artist-in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. He teaches at Harvard University in the Department of Music and the Department of African and African American Studies.