In What Language?
Pianist Vijay Iyer is recognized as one of the most innovative jazz improvisers working today.Artist Bio
Mike LaddArtist Bio
In What Language? explores individual identity in the era of globalization. The piece depicts interior monologues of travelers at an international airport. Characters portrayed in In What Language? are based on real-life voyagers, such as scientist Wen Ho Lee and poet Taslima Nasreen; the libretto is inspired by news articles, INS documents, autobiographical writings, and other source material. The piece is performed by Iyer, Ladd, and an ensemble of ten musicians and vocalists.
New York, NY
Pianist Vijay Iyer is recognized as one of the most innovative jazz improvisers working today. The leader of several music ensembles, Iyer has performed at the Jazz d’Or festival in Strasbourg, France; Radio Svizzera in Lugano, Switzerland; The Chicago World Music Festival; The Asian American Jazz Festival in San Francisco; and Joe’s Pub in New York. He received a 1998 touring grant from the Fund for United States Artists at International Festivals & Exhibitions and Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund grants in 2000 and 2001. Iyer holds a Ph.D. and MA from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in Mathematics and Physics from Yale University.
Boston-born Mike Ladd received his BA in Black expatriates in the 19th century from Hampshire College and an MA in poetry from Boston University. He has published in several literary magazines including Long Shot Review and Bostonia. His work is also featured in the book Swing Low, Black Men Writing and the anthologies, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and In Defense of Mumia. Michael is the writer and producer of the pioneering albums Easy Listening For Armageddon, Live From Paris, Welcome to the Afterfuture, and The Infesticons: Gun Hill Road, as well as the forthcoming Majesticons: Beauty Party. As a Fellow at the Institute for Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University, Ladd produced and directed Blood Black and Blue, an audio documentary/performance about Black police officers in the United States. Ladd has taught at Boston University and Long Island University, and lives in the Bronx.