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Jazz pianist and MacArthur ‘genius’ grant recipient Vijay Iyer debuts at Oz Arts Nashville this weekend

vijayOne of the world’s most daring and innovative musicians will be following the yellow brick road to Oz Arts Nashville this weekend.

Vijay Iyer, a noted composer, jazz pianist and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, will make his Oz debut on Saturday night in two innovative works: Mutations I-X, an extended suite for string quartet, piano and electronics; and Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, a collaboration with the filmmaker Prashant Bhargava.

Composed a decade ago for the string quartet Ethel (which appeared last season at Oz), Mutations was Iyer’s first foray into chamber music. The 10-movement suite, released last month on the ECM label, explores Iyer’s fascination with process, with the way music evolves (make that mutates) over time.

Iyer and Bhargava created Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.  The subject of Stravinsky’s ballet was a fictional pagan sacrifice. Iyer and Bhargava, on the other hand, celebrate a real spring rite, the Hindu Holi festival. The film and music are both colorful and vivid.

Iyer performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9 at Oz, 6172 Cockrill Bend Cir. To read the Nashville Scene’s interview with Iyer, click here. For tickets and additional information, click here.

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About John Pitcher

John Pitcher is the chief classical music, jazz and dance critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He has been a classical music critic for the Washington Post, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, National Public Radio’s Performance Today (NPR), ArtNowNashville.com and the Nashville Scene. His writings about music and the arts have also appeared in Symphony Magazine, American Record Guide and Stagebill Magazine, among other publications. Pitcher earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied arts writing with Judith Crist and Phyllis Garland. His work has received the New York State Associated Press award for outstanding classical music criticism.