Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Two of the most progressive voices in American jazz piano join forces for a performance that blurs the line between composition and improvisation. Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn have each risen to prominence within the jazz scene by expanding the boundaries of the genre and establishing a highly personalized approach to improvisation. Together, the two will draw on an evolving sketchbook of compositional ideas, developed through earlier iterations of the project, to continue a musical conversation that defies the notion of completion.

Vijay Iyer was born in Albany, NY and has become “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today,” according to Pitchfork. A Grammy-nominated recording artist on the ECM label, Iyer has a PhD in Technology and the Arts and undertook pioneering scholarship on the “embodied cognition” of musical performance. Interested in what happens to a listener “from the shoulders down,” Iyer approaches jazz from this level of direct vibrational experience. As a leader and sideman, he’s collaborated with artists as diverse as Roscoe Mitchell, Dave Douglas, Amiri Baraka, Das Racist, and most recently Wadada Leo Smith.

Detroit native Craig Taborn is one of the most sought-after sidemen and sessioners working today, having recorded more than 100 albums with artists such as Evan Parker, Tim Berne, and Steve Coleman, and touring with the likes of Dave Holland, Bill Frisell, Ches Smith, and Paul Motian. Known for his work on electric piano and organ as well as acoustic piano, he has topped critics’ and readers’ polls in jazz publications such as Downbeat and JazzTimes. In addition to recording with his own ensembles for ECM and Tzadik, Taborn regularly performs solo.

Special Dinner Package

For this Saturday evening performance, Evelyn’s Cafe at EMPAC will be offering a special three-course dinner package. For $50, you will receive an appetizer, entree, and dessert, as well as a glass of wine, along with your ticket to the show. Please reserve your place at the table by calling the EMPAC box office at 518.276.3921.

Three-course Dinner Menu

Apple + pears mesclun, croutons, candied pecans, craisins, and a NYS apple cider vinaigrette.
Second-course (choice of one)
Hand breaded chicken and eggplant parmesan, stacked with prosciutto. House made marinara + mozzarella. Served with penne rigate.
Eggplant + Roasted Vegetable Stacker
Roasted eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, roasted red pepper topped with fresh mozzarella and finished with a red wine raspberry sauce on a bed of mixed greens. (Available without mozzarella for vegan option).
Short Rib
Slow roasted short ribs served over creamy polenta, grilled asparagus, and topped with a veal demi glaze.
Third-course (choice of one)
Decadent double chocolate cake or NY-style cheesecake with choice of fruit topping.

A glass of wine is also included.

Argeo Ascani
Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn
Concert Hall
October 29, 2016, 8PM

EMPAC 2016–17 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts.