Thums Up is an exploratory and groove-heavy mix of acoustic instruments and electronics that features Vijay Iyer alongside Punjabi-American rapper Himanshu Suri (formerly of Das Racist), guitarist Rafiq Bhatia (Son Lux, Lorde), drummer Kassa Overall (Geri Allen, Henry Threadgill), and Pakistani vocalist and composer Arooj Aftab. JazzTimes called them “a powerful expression of the hyphenated-American identity.” They make their West Coast debut with this performance.
Vijay Iyer piano, Fender Rhodes, electronics
Rafiq Bhatia guitar
Kassa Overall drums
Arooj Aftab vocals, guitar
Himanshu Suri spoken word
ABOUT VIJAY IYER
The brilliant and adventurous pianist and composer Vijay Iyer is a musician who stretches the boundaries of jazz, but has long reached beyond jazz's vocabulary. An artist possessed of a relentlessly searching intellect and awe-inspiring technique, he was the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant” in 2013 and the “quadruple crown” in DownBeat’s 2012 Critics Poll in the categories of Jazz Artist of the Year, Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year and Album of the Year. Iyer has collaborated with the most creative figures in modern jazz, including Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Ambrose Akinmusire, and John Zorn, among others, and is a member of the visionary collective Fieldwork with saxophonist Steve Lehman and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. He has recorded 15 albums since his debut in 1995, including the acclaimed sessions Historicity (2009), Accelerando (2011), and Break Stuff (2015) featuring his telepathic trio of bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore.