From Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts: Meshell Ndegeocello, Vijay Iyer and Teju Cole

From Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

Bard Fisher Center for the performing Arts

MeShell NdegeòCello by Tore Sætre (

Meshell Ndegeocello

October 20

The Hudson-based ten-time Grammy nominee filters “Tender Love” through a folky, Californian filter and brings big brass accents to “Sensitivity.” She re-creates “Smooth Operator” in 5/4 time, and turns “Private Dancer” into a sultry waltz. The reimagining affords not just a new musical experience but also a comment on the narrow expectations of sounds and structures for black artists and black music. Don’t miss this rare Hudson Valley performance!
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Lush, subversive, and sublime, the music of Meshell Ndegeocello sparked a new movement in soul music, and has earned her 10 Grammy nominations over her astounding career. With the release of her new album, Ventriloquism, Ndegeocello tackles covers of songs that redefined black pop and R&B in the ’80s and ’90s, by artists such as Prince, Janet Jackson, TLC, Tina Turner, and more, offering a fresh perspective and a musical refuge in these uncertain times.

Vijay Iyer and Teju Cole
Blind Spot
October 26

Vijay Iyer by Jimmy Katz

Teju Cole by Tim Knox

Teju Cole’s book Blind Spot is “a hybrid book that more formally pairs his photography with diminutive essays that function as reflections on topics as diverse as history, forgetting and dreaming. Now he is teaming up with another polymath: Vijay Iyer, the composer and jazz pianist—who also happens to be a trained physicist—and whose musical work absorbs influences from an array of genres, including hip-hop and south Indian classical music.” —Los Angeles Times

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“No one in jazz sounds like Iyer.” —Chicago Tribune

“One of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing.” —Los Angeles Times on Teju Cole

Pioneering jazz composer and pianist Vijay Iyer and Nigerian American writer and photographer (and Bard faculty member) Teju Cole present a powerful new collaboration. With images and text from Cole’s newly released book of the same title alongside Iyer’s live score, Blind Spot investigates humanity’s blindness to tragedy and injustice throughout history.

In this innovative synthesis of words, music, and images, Cole leads us through a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel: from a park in Berlin to a mountain range in Switzerland, a church exterior in Lagos to a house in Tivoli, NY; landscapes and interiors, beautiful or quotidian, that inspire Cole’s memories, fantasies, and introspections. Iyer at piano, with Patricia Brennan on vibraphone and Stephan Crump on bass, create the improvised music in real time, using as a score, in Cole’s words, “the images, the words I’m reading, and the pace at which I move to the next image, our collective presence and those of us on the stage and those of us in the audience.”


Teju Cole, images and text
Vijay Iyer, piano
Patricia Brennan, mallets
Stephan Crump, bass
Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
A book and album signing with the artists will follow the performance.

See the full article here.


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About Us
The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, designed by Frank Gehry, illustrates the College’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. The Center’s adventurous programs and world-class facilities provide an outstanding environment in which to create, perform, learn, and experience. The Center bears the name of Richard B. Fisher, the former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees. This magnificent building and the extraordinary arts experiences that take place within it are a tribute to his vision, generosity, and leadership.

The mission of the Fisher Center is to:

bring leading artists to the Hudson Valley to engage with the public and the College;
produce and present adventurous and in-depth programs, including new, rare, and undiscovered works;
support the development of new work by artists at all stages of their careers; and
provide a home for Bard student and faculty work in the performing arts.

Bard College seeks to inspire curiosity, a love of learning, idealism, and a commitment to the link between higher education and civic participation. The undergraduate curriculum is designed to address central, enduring questions facing succeeding generations of students. Academic disciplines are interconnected through multidisciplinary programs; a balance in the curriculum is sought between general education and individual specialization. Students pursue a rigorous course of study reflecting diverse traditions of scholarship, research, speculation, and artistic expression. They engage philosophies of human existence, theories of human behavior and society, the making of art, and the study of the humanities, science, nature, and history.

Bard’s approach to learning focuses on the individual, primarily through small group seminars. These are structured to encourage thoughtful, critical discourse in an inclusive environment. Faculty are active in their fields and stress the connection between the contemplative life of the mind and active engagement outside the classroom. They strive to foster rigorous and free inquiry, intellectual ambition, and creativity.

Bard acts at the intersection of education and civil society, extending liberal arts and sciences education to communities in which it has been underdeveloped, inaccessible, or absent. Through its undergraduate college, distinctive graduate programs, commitment to the fine and performing arts, civic and public engagement programs, and network of international dual-degree partnerships, early colleges, and prison education initiatives, Bard offers unique opportunities for students and faculty to study, experience, and realize the principle that higher-education institutions can and should operate in the public interest.

The Bard College of today reflects in many ways its varied past.
Bard was founded as St. Stephen’s College in 1860, a time of national crisis. While there are no written records of the founders’ attitude toward the Civil War, a passage from the College’s catalogue of 1943 applies also to the time of the institution’s establishment:

“While the immediate demands in education are for the training of men for the war effort, liberal education in America must be preserved as an important value in the civilization for which the War is being fought. . . . Since education, like life itself, is a continuous process of growth and effort, the student has to be trained to comprehend and foster his own growth and direct his own efforts.”

This philosophy molded the College during its early years and continues to inform its academic aims.

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