Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Vijay Iyer will serve temporarily as a professor of music at the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas for two days in mid-February—his trio will perform a show on Feb. 18, free of charge, at the Jim & Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center.
Iyer’s visit to the university will also include a public lecture, titled “I Feel You: Music and Empathy,” on Feb. 19. The event will be open to the public, and will take place at Giffels Auditorium in Old Main. Elizabeth Margulis, professor of music and director of the university’s Music Cognition Lab, said Iyer will spend multiple days working intensively with the Fayetteville students.
“Vijay Iyer is a pioneering jazz pianist who writes compellingly about music and embodiment,” Margulis said. “Students are ready to be inspired by his innovative musicianship, and the music department is thrilled to be able to offer the community the opportunity to hear him perform and speak live.”
Critics concur the skills of Iyer, at age 42, he currently serves as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. Critic Steve Greenly opined Iyer as “the most celebrated pianist in jazz,” and that “he may be the most celebrated musician in jazz right now.”