The MacArthur Fellowship is a five-year grant to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future. The fellowship is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their creative activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements. There are no limits on age or area of activity. Individuals cannot apply for this award; they must be nominated.
His album “Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project” is incredible blend of Jazz, poetry, heart and soul. Hear for yourself.
“I want to use the money for the greater good of the community,” said Mr. Iyer, whose latest project of note was “Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dream Project,” an exploration of the dreams of minority war veterans. Mr. Iyer, who lives in Harlem, added: “A life in the arts is a life of service, Yo-Yo Ma once told me. That sits well with me.”
Grammy® nominee Vijay Iyer is the most
celebrated musician on the jazz scene, winner in five categories in the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll. No other artist in the 60-year history of the magazine s poll has ever taken five titles in the same year!
Holding It Down: The Veterans Dreams Project is the result of a three-year collaboration between Grammy® nominee Vijay Iyer and poet/librettist Mike Ladd, with veterans of color from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also the culmination of a trilogy of works spanning more than a decade of
American life, including the critically acclaimed In What Language? and Still Life with Commentator. For Holding It Down, Iyer and Ladd explore the
experiences of veterans of these wars, in particular their post-traumatic-stress-disorder-induced nightmares. They interviewed scores of veterans
about their dreams, many of which are retold here. Iyer and Ladd also enlisted the help of Maurice Decaul, a poet who served with the Marines in
Iraq, and Lynn Hill, who served in the Air Force. Their harrowing poetry and performances serve as the heart and soul of this project. With seething
power, Holding It Down explores how post-9/11 war veterans go about their irreversibly altered lives.