Fridays Live: Vijay Iyer Trio
Fridays Live • SFJAZZ At Home

Vijay Iyer Trio

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› Pianist Vjay Iyer marks a bittersweet return to Bay Area for SFJAZZ run

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Vijay Iyer in light and shadow

Tonight on Fridays Live, SFJAZZ presents the Bay Area premiere of Vijay Iyer’s current trio featuring drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Linda May Han Oh. They will perform works from their critically hailed ECM album, Uneasy. Marked by breathtaking interplay, the trio reflects Iyer’s vision as the group navigates the intricate rhythmic cycles, rollercoaster momentum shifts, and dense harmonies that make the pianist’s music so enthralling.

by Vijay Iyer | SFJAZZ Magazine | April 2023

My earliest musical memory, indeed perhaps my earliest memory at all, is from age 3 or 4. I had started violin lessons, and my beloved older sister Pratima, then 6 or 7, had started on piano. My parents had gotten her a modest spinet on which she would work through her Suzuki repertoire. Her little piano loomed grandly over me and my 1/16th-size violin; similarly I found myself looking up to her, as my sentinel and guide through childhood. One day I heard her playing something I did not recognize from the Suzuki practice tapes. She was clanging around in what was probably A minor; it involved a lot of white keys and sustain pedal. At some point, either that time or the next, I toddled up beside her and clanged in counterpoint. Together we got the instrument resonating and shaking until it felt like it might tip over. I called this a musical memory; is that the right word for it? Little me, together with one of my favorite people in the world, engaged in collaborative exploratory play, forming sonic experience, making a joyful noise, surely breaking a rule or two. Even then I must have thought, Could this be music too? Instantly, I was hooked. And to this day, every time I play the piano, some part of me is transported back to that ecstatic, timeless, transgressive moment from childhood. You could call it my origin story.

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