Vijay is a jazz-fusion piano rocker who rocks my elementary school socks off. With a PhD in music/physics (his dissertation included the study of effects of music on of culture, since music is pretty much, well, everywhere) and an uncanny skill at marrying seemingly opposite genres, this guy is worth the listen.
This is important for the 21st century church musician because of the evolution of the musical taste of culture. Think about it — the iPod makes it so that I’m not forced to listen to the same slice of musical style “at home, at work, everywhere!”. Our personal mp3 players are an ongoing experiment in fusion. Think about it — when you ask the typical guy on the street “what’s your favorite style of music”, what will their answer be? Probably something along the lines of “I like all kinds of music…except ________”. They sometimes don’t even fill in the blank, though if they do, it’s usually filled in with “country” by those who truly love Jesus.
I believe the hipness of music in future church is its ability to transcend musical flavors while still staying true to its core purpose — not musical expression to a group of people but rather using music to help a group of people make an expression of worship to God. How does a new era of musical tastes in our communities — some of which is more of an awakening on our parts as leaders rather than of the culture — give us insight to what will be an appropriate and powerful use of this language that speaks to every person?
Check out the Detroit Free Press article on Vijay Iyer (VID-jay EYE-ur), our fusion musician of the week, by clicking here.