Vijay Iyer

Called one of the “new stars of jazz” by U.S. News & World Report (the magazine that’s always in your dentist’s office), and one of “today’s most important pianists” by The New Yorker (the magazine that’s always in your scholarly uncle’s bathroom), Vijay Iyer has certainly become one of the best-known jazz artists to emerge in the 2000s. And it’s for a good reason.

The upstate New York-raised musician manhandles the piano, pounding away at keys and blasting out rhythms with a sense of urgency and experimentation that would knock listeners who use jazz as vintage relaxation music off their barstools. Showing his eagerness with a wall of degrees and a slew of releases (both solos and collaborations), this relatively young pianist is proving to be an unstoppable, inescapable presence in the genre.

And he has some cool admirers, too. Houston Press sister paper The Village Voice called New Yorker Iyer “one of the most original and accomplished young pianists in years.” Da Camera of Houston brings his quartet, with celebrated saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa as a guest, to Houston today at 8 p.m. The Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-524-5050 or visit $26.50 to $45.
Sat., April 26, 8 p.m., 2008

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