Celebrity Series of Boston Presents POEMJAZZ with Vijay Iyer Trio and Robert Pinsky, 3/14
Celebrity Series of Boston will present a duet performance of poetry and jazz by the Vijay Iyer Trio and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky in POEMJAZZ on Friday, March 14, 2014, at 8:00pm at Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA. Sponsored by Amy and Joshua Boger.
Tickets for Vijay Iyer Trio start at $20, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Harvard Box Office, Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.
This performance is Vijay Iyer's second appearance with the Celebrity Series of Boston; he made his debut in 2011 with the Miguel Zenon Quartet. This is Robert Pinsky's second appearance with the Celebrity Series of Boston; he made his debut in 2002 with the Takács Quartet.
In the first part of this program, pianist Vijay Iyer teams up with former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky inPOEMJAZZ, a duet performance of poetry and jazz. POEMJAZZ presents the human voice -- the reading and performance of poems - along with a variety of jazz musical improvisations. In the second half, the Vijay Iyer Triotakes the stage with its innovative musical interplay.
Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the most important young musicians in jazz today. His most recent honors include a 2013 MacArthur "genius" fellowship, a "quintuple crown" in the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), a "quadruple crown" in the JazzTimes extended critics poll (winning Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and Album of the Year), the Pianist of the Year Awards for both 2012 and 2013 from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award (the "German Grammy") for best international pianist.
Iyer has released seventeen albums as a leader; his most recent, Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project (2013) is his third collaboration with poet Mike Ladd, based on the dreams of veterans of color from America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His previous album, Accelerando (2012), is the widely acclaimed follow-up to the multiple award-winning Historicity (2009), both featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass). Accelerando was voted #1 Jazz Album of the Year for 2012 in three separate critics polls surveying hundreds of critics worldwide, hosted by Downbeat, Jazz Times, and Rhapsody, respectively, and also was chosen as jazz album of the year by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PopMatters, and Amazon.com. Historicity was a 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album, and was named #1 Jazz Album of 2009. The trio won the 2010 Echo Award for best international ensemble and the 2012 Downbeat Critics Poll for jazz group of the year. Previously Iyer was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of 2011's "50 Most Influential Global Indians" by GQ India. His other honors include the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, the Greenfield Prize, the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous composer commissions.
Iyer received a Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been published in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, Journal of the Society for American Music, Critical Studies in Improvisation, in the anthologies Arcana IV, Sound Unbound, Uptown Conversation, The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010, and in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Iyer has been on faculty at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School, and he is the Director of The Banff Centre's International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. Iyer is currently in a multi-year residency with San Francisco Performances. In early 2014 he will join the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University as the first Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts. In March 2014, ECM Records will release "Mutations", a recording for piano, string quartet and electronics.
Robert Pinsky's first two terms as United States Poet Laureate were marked by such national enthusiasm that the Library of Congress appointed him to an unprecedented third term. As Poet Laureate (1997-2000), Robert Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, in which thousands of Americans shared their favorite poems. Pinsky believed that poetry had a vigorous presence in the American cultural landscape. The anthology Americans' Favorite Poems, which includes letters from project participants, is in its 18th printing. The most recent anthology, An Invitation to Poetry, comes with a DVD featuring 27 of the FPP video segments, as seen on PBS. In April 2009, WW Norton published Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud.
Selected Poems, (2011) is his most recent volume of poetry. His The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and received the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. Pinsky's Tanner Lectures at Princeton University were published as Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry(Princeton University Press, 2002). His other books about poetry include Poetry and the World, nominated for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, and The Sounds of Poetry, a brief guide of poetry.
Robert Pinsky's best-selling translation of The Inferno of Dante received the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and the Howard Morton Landon Prize for translation. He is also co-translator of The Separate Notebooks, poems by Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz. Pinsky's prose book, The Life of David, is a retelling and examination of the David stories, narrating a wealth of legend as well as scripture. Pinsky also wrote the libretto for Tod Machover's opera Death and the Powers: A Robot Pageant, which premiered in Monaco in 2010. Pinsky's newest book is Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters. He is also editing The Best of the Best American Poetry, the twenty-fifth volume of the popular Best American Poetry series. In March - June 2013, the Shakespeare Theatre Company performed a newly commissioned adaptation and translation of Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein by Pinsky.
Robert Pinsky appears regularly on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and publishes frequently in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review, and The Best American Poetry anthologies. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. Pinsky is also the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture's 2006 Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Literary Arts, and the 2008 Theodore M. Roethke Memorial Poetry Award. He is one of the few members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on "The Simpsons."
Program will feature POEMJAZZ with Robert Pinsky and Vijay Iyer in the first half and the Vijay Iyer Trio in the second half.
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 75-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world's greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers-from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more-to Boston's major concert halls for 75 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience-on stages, in schools, at home- everywhere. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy and Joshua Boger; Eleanor and Frank Pao; Donna and Mike Egan; Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation; The Little Family Foundation; Tufts Health Plan; Foley & Lardner LLP; The John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation; First Republic Bank; The Peabody Foundation; Charlesbank Capital Partners; PTC; Vertex Pharmaceuticals; The D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp; Massachusetts Cultural Council; New England Foundation for the Arts.