New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Featuring Meshell Ndegeocello, Roscoe
Mitchell Quartet, Yvette Janine Jackson's Radio
Opera Workshop, Val Jeanty's Nitebjuti, And Imani Uzuri's Conjure Woman
Composer-Trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith begins the week with Harvard's Elson Lecture on March 31
On April 3 and 4 at Harvard University, pianist and composer Vijay Iyer will present Black
Speculative Musicalities: The Fromm Players
Concerts, a festival and symposium created to shine a bright light on the radical sonic imaginings of the African diaspora. The events will honor the artists who, through their powerful imaginations, have challenged and expanded our notions of what music is, what it can be, and what it can do. The performers include Meshell Ndegeocello, Roscoe
Mitchell Quartet, Val Jeanty's NiteBjuti, Imani Uzuri, and Yvette Janine Jackson's Radio
Opera Workshop. Iyer has been a Professor of the Arts at Harvard since 2014, with joint affiliations with the Department of Music
and the Department of African and African American Studies.
Speculative Musicalities: The Fromm Players
Concerts, curated by Vijay Iyer
Friday, April 3: Visionary singer/songwriter/bassist Meshell Ndegeocello presents her ensemble with Chris Bruce, Jebin Bruni, and Abraham Rounds. Kicking off this evening is Harvard composer and sound artist Yvette Janine Jackson's Radio
Opera Workshop featuring Esperanza Spalding, Tia Fuller, Rajna Swaminathan, Davindar Singh, Taiga Ultan, and Judith
Saturday, April 4: NEA 2020 Jazz Master Roscoe
Mitchell (founding member of the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago) brings his Quartet (Mitchell, saxophones, flutes, percussion; Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet; Junius Paul, bass; Vincent
Davis, drums). Vocalist, composer and librettist Imani Uzuri performs her solo cantata, Conjure Woman. Fusing electronics and African Vodou rhythms, Val Jeanty presents her project NiteBjuti(Jeanty, Candice Hoyes, Mimi Jones).
at 8:30, shows at 9pm. Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge
April 4 Black
Speculative Musicalities: A Symposium. In conjunction with the concerts, there will be a public symposium on Black
Speculative Musicalities bringing together scholars, artists, and students in a series of talks from 10:30am to 4:00 in the Thompson Room of the Barker Center, 112 Quincy
Street, Cambridge. Confirmed speakers include 2019 MacArthur Fellow Saidiya Hartman, scholar and activist Shana Redmond, prolific cultural critic Greg Tate, innovative gospel scholar and practitioner Braxton Shelley, Vijay Iyer, and others.
The symposium is free and open to the public. Free tickets for the two concerts are required and will available beginning March 6 at noon online or in person at the Loeb Drama
Center Box Office, open 12-6 Tuesday through Sunday: https://americanrepertorytheater.org/shows-events/fromm-players-at-harvard/#book
Tickets are not required for the March 31 event with Wadada Leo Smith.
More information here:https://music.fas.harvard.edu/black_speculative_musicalities.pdf
Earlier in the same week, in a fortuitous thematic confluence, legendary composer-performer Wadada Leo Smith will deliver the Harvard University Department of Music's annual Louis C. Elson Lecture, titled "Create: Its philosophy and practice" at Paine Hall, 3 Oxford Street, on March 31 at 5:15pm. This event will also include a performance by the trio of Smith on trumpet, Vijay Iyer on piano and electronics, and Andrew Cyrilleon drums.
Along with these events and his role as a mentor at Harvard, Vijay Iyer has planned a tremendous year of activity that includes the debut of new compositions in addition to a wide range of collaborations and performances. These include the premiere of Ghosts
Everywhere I Go at the University of Chicago
on May 15, a newly commissioned piece inspired by the writings of poet, sociologist, comic book author and University of Chicago
professor Eve Ewing. The performance will feature Jeff Parker, Tomeka Reid, Joel Ross, Nick Dunston, Jeremy Dutton, Julian Otis and Eden Girma. In June Iyer will perform at London's Wigmore Hall, where he is the Composer In Residence for the 2019/2020 season. There he will present several of his concert works with Aurora
Orchestra, including Crisis Modes, Song For Flint, Musicalities, Mozart Effects and The Law of Returns. And in August Iyer will return to the Banff International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music
as Artistic Director
alongside his longtime collaborator and co-Artistic Director
Tyshawn Sorey. Since 2013, Iyer has directed this three-week intensive workshop for emerging artists.
Full schedule is below.
A 2013 MacArthur Fellow and 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist, Iyer has been voted DownBeat Magazine's Artist of the Year four times in the past 8 years. He has been voted Artist of the Year in Jazz Times' Critics' and Readers' Polls for 2017. His previous Vijay Iyer Trio release, Break Stuff, was issued by ECM in 2015.
Vijay Iyer's upcoming performance itinerary:
Mar 14 - Fort Worth, TX - Modern
Art Museum of Fort Worth - with Jennifer Koh (Violin)
Mar 21 - Cologne, Germany - Kölner Philharmonie - with Craig
April 3-4 - Cambridge, MA - Harvard University - [curation] Black
Speculative Musicalities: THE FROMM PLAYERS CONCERTS
Apr 17 - New York, NY - Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center - with Wadada Leo Smith
April 24 - New Haven, CT - Yale Center for British Art - with The Ritual Ensemble
May 15 - Chicago, IL - Reva & David
Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago
- premiere of Iyer's new work Ghosts
Everywhere I Go featuring Jeff Parker, Tomeka Reid, Joel Ross, Nick Dunston, Jeremy Dutton, Julian Otis, Eden Girma, and poet Eve Ewing
May 17 - June 5 - New Smyrna Beach, FL - Atlantic Center For The Arts - artist residency
June 10 - London, UK - Wigmore Hall - with Aurora
June 12-13 - New York, NY - Jazz Gallery - with Henry Threadgill and Dafnis Prieto
June 16-21 - New York, NY - Village Vanguard: June 16-19 Vijay Iyer Trio with Tyshawn Sorey and Linda
May Han Oh; June 20 and 21 Vijay Iyer Trio with Stephan Crump, Jeremy Dutton, and special guest Wadada Leo Smith