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Artist Spotlight: Vijay Iyer

The highly-acclaimed pianist holds a Ph.D. in music perception and cognition

Vijay Iyer - JazzTimes Readers and Critics Poll choice for Artist of the year (photo by Clynne Harty c/o ECM Records)
Vijay Iyer (photo: Clynne Harty c/o ECM Records)

Dubbed one of the “new stars of jazz” by U.S. News & World Report nearly 15 years ago, Vijay Iyer remains a singular talent—a forceful, rhythmically invigorating performer who weds a cutting-edge sensibility to a unique sense of compositional balance.

The son of Indian immigrants, Iyer was born and raised in upstate New York, where he started violin lessons at the age of three. Soon he was drawn to his sister’s piano, where he began picking out melodies at age six.

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