NPR

Tyshawn Sorey, A Musical Shapeshifter, Wins MacArthur 'Genius' Prize

The wide-ranging composer, drummer, pianist and trombonist has been defying easy category since childhood. Now only 37 years old, he's just getting started.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator Tyshawn Sorey, who has been granted a MacArthur Fellowship. Source: John Rogers

This morning, the latest crop of MacArthur Fellows was announced — the so-called "genius" awards. Sometimes, a MacArthur fellowship is given as a capstone to honor a long, glorious career. But one of this year's winners, Tyshawn Sorey, is just 37 years old.

Earlier this week, I visited Sorey at his office at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., where he began teaching this fall. When we met, Sorey was dressed entirely in black, as he usually is. When he plays, he often wears

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