Vijay Iyer,the son of Indian Tamil parents, grew up in New York. At the age of three he started playing the violin and as a child he taught himself the piano. After being a awarded a PhD in Technology and the Arts focusing on music cognition from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1998 Iyer returned to New York to make his name as a jazz pianist. Since early 2000 he has been building up an impressive oeuvre that puts him at the top of the jazz scene in the United States. Iyer's virtuoso playing in particular, the ever-present Asian influence and his eclectic way of working are striking. In 2010 the Jazz Journalists Association named him Jazz Musician of the Year, an honor shared by Herbie Hancock and Ornette Coleman, among others. With his trio Iyer released the album Accelerando last March, the successor of 2009's Historicity, which won numerous awards. In between, he released solo records Solo (2010) and Tirtha (2011).2012 is a good year for Vijay Iyer. He has been honoured in 5 categories of the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll. Never has an artist won this many titles simultaneously.