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Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily: Love in Exile

Thursday, October 05, 2023 @ 7:30pm

McCarter Theatre Center (Matthews Theater)
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540

The trio of Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily first coalesced in 2018 in New York City; an unplanned, improvised performance that revealed their natural chemistry. Iyer, a pianist, composer, and MacArthur “Genius,” currently finds himself at the center of the galaxy of improvised music, guiding a storied career through continued evolution with new ideas and new collaborators. He finds worthy peers in Ismaily, a largely self-taught composer and musician who has mastered the electric and double bass, guitar, banjo, accordion, flute, drums, as well as various percussion and electronic instruments; and Pakistan-born, Brooklyn-based Aftab, the ascendant ambient musician and vocalist who was awarded the 2022 Grammy for Best Global Music Performance and is a 2023 United States Artists Fellow and a recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music. Their album Love in Exile is a sparsely recorded synthesis of their alchemical improvisation, an intricate yet minimalist universe built on a handful of Urdu couplets that, as Iyer says, “reveals not just the melody but the birth of a song.”

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