A jazz pianist and bandleader, Iyer is one of the most critically acclaimed musicians of the past decade. He also has a masters in physics. Here, he explains why he decided to switch to a full-time career as a jazz musician, and describes what influenced his album Solo.
Fresh Air pays tribute to Boston with a 1988 performance by the late jazz pianist Dave McKenna. From 1981 to 1991, McKenna had a standing gig at Boston's Grand Dame Copley Plaza Hotel. He was also a loyal Red Sox fan. He died in 2008.
Yirga finds his way into Ethiopian standards, displays his flair for jazz over solo and ensemble pieces, and performs effortless homages to vintage soul. He holds everything together with voracious talent that helps him savor each musical flavor.