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Award-winning jazz band Vijay Iyer Trio to visit Bucks

Vijay Iyer Trio members are pianist Vijay Iyer (center), drummer Marcus Gilmore (left) and bassist Stephen Crump (right).

Michelle Paluszek

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On April 18 at 8 p.m. award-winning jazz band Vijay Iyer Trio is scheduled to perform a concert inside the Gateway Auditorium at Bucks’ Newtown campus that students and community member definitely will not want to miss.

Vijay Iyer Trio is made up of Vijay Iyer, piano, Stephan Crump, bass, and Marcus Gilmore, drums. The trio creates both original compositions and new twists on versions of songs that are relevant to today’s popular music.

Iyer is a self-taught pianist who began playing when he was just 3-years-old. He has taught himself the ability to put his own modern twist on jazz music.

The trio has a cover of the artist M.I.A’s song “Galang” which is an adventurous representation of the hip hop song. They also have covers of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Stevie Wonder’s “Big Brother.”

Professor Jeff Baumeister suggested that the jazz band be invited to perform at the college. The music professor explained that every spring semester a major act comes to Bucks’ that is either classical or jazz. Both the Cultural Affairs Committee and The Cultural Task Force at Bucks help bring artistic events, such as this, to campus for students and the general public.

Handling the task of initiating the process of setting up a musical performance on campus, Baumiester said he could be considered the middle man between the college and the proformers.

“(Musicians will) contact me or I’ll contact them. I’ll ask students who they might want to hear and then I’ll see if I can find them (the musicians),” he said. Baumiester went on to explain how he writes a proposal for committees on campus to vote on whether or not the performance of the musician should be scheduled at Bucks.

Obviously the committee voted in favor of the Vijay Iyer Trio’s performance and they did for a good reason. The Vijay Iyer Trio has released 16 albums to date since 1995.

The trio’s album “Historicity,” released in 2009, was voted the No. 1 jazz album of 2009 around the world. It was also nominated at the Grammy Awards for best jazz instrumental album in 2011.

The band’s most recent release in 2012, “Accelerando,” won multiple awards at the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll Awards which included: Jazz Group of the Year, Jazz Artist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Pianist of the Year and Rising Star Composer. In the 60-year history of the Poll Awards, the Vijay Iyer Trio is the only artist to simultaneously win five titles.

Baumiester showed excitement about the show and strongly recommends that students come out to the event. “This is a once in a lifetime event for the whole county because performers like Vijay Iyer travel around the world and to have him here in Newtown is a real treat,” he said.

Students should be excited for this artist to take the stage at Bucks for a free performance that is sure to exceed their expectations. Perhaps a new-found appreciation for jazz music will grace Bucks students upon the musical styling’s of the Vijay Iyer Trio.

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Award-winning jazz band Vijay Iyer Trio to visit Bucks