VIJAY IYER is a Grammy-nominated composer, pianist, bandleader, and writer based in New York. His recent recordings include Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (2013), a collaboration with poet Mike Ladd and post-9/11 veterans of color; and the trio album Accelerando (2012), voted jazz album of 2012 in three international critics’ polls. His honors include the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, two Echo Awards (aka “German Grammys”) and the Alpert Award in the Arts. He earned a PhD in music cognition from University of California, Berkeley, and has published in Music Perception, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and Critical Studies in Improvisation. Iyer was recently named the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard. Photo by Jimmy Katz.