Fred Hersch, piano
Julian Lage,

Jazz at the Maverick

Saturday, August 2, 2014, 8 pm


The program will be announced from the stage.
There will be an intermission.



Sunday, August 3, 4 pm

Modigliani Quartet
Music of Schumann, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel

next week

Friday, August 8, 8:30 pm

Steve Gorn, bansuri flute; Samarth Nagarkar, vocalist; Samir Chatterjee, tabla
A Twilight Concert of Indian Ragas

Saturday, August 9, 11 am

Young People’s Concert
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf with the Amernet String Quartet and John Klibonoff, piano

Saturday, August 9, 6:30 pm

Jazz at the Maverick
Perry Beekman and Friends
American Landscapes VII: The George Gershwin Songbook

Sunday, August 10, 4 pm

American Landscapes VIII: Cherish the Émigrés
Amernet String Quartet, Jon Klibonoff, Piano

Music of Mahler, Dvořák, Schoenberg, and Korngold



Proclaimed by Vanity Fair magazine “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so,” Fred Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist, as well as remaining an in-demand collaborator with other noted bandleaders and vocalists. He was the first artist in the seventy-five-year history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play week-long engagements as a solo pianist. His second featured run is documented on the 2011 release Alone at the Vanguard. This CD was nominated for two 2012 Grammy Awards—for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and for Best Jazz Improvised Solo (for his interpretation of Monk’s “Work”). Alone won the “Coup de Coeur” de l’Acadámie Charles Cros in France. Hersch placed fourth in the 2011 Downbeat Critic’s Poll. His newest trio CD, Whirl, found its way onto numerous 2010 lists of best recordings of the year. His 2011 production My Coma Dreams —a full-evening work for eleven instruments, actor/singer, and animation/multimedia—was reviewed in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, which praised him as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz — a jazz for the 21st century.”

In addition to his more than three dozen recordings as a leader/co-leader, his numerous awards include a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition, a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition, and two Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance. Hersch has served as either a solo performer or at the helm of varied small ensembles, including his trio, a quintet, and his “Pocket Orchestra,” which features an unconventional lineup of piano, trumpet, voice, and percussion. Hersch is considered to be the among the most prolific and celebrated solo jazz pianists of his generation. In 2006, Palmetto released the solo CD Fred Hersch in Amsterdam: Live at the Bimhuis, and 2009 welcomed his eighth solo disc, Fred Hersch Plays Jobim, cited as one of the year’s top ten jazz releases by NPR and the Wall Street Journal. Hersch was awarded Jazz Pianist of the Year 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Hersch’s career as a performer has been greatly enhanced by his composing activities, a vital part of nearly all of his live concerts and recordings. In 2003, Hersch created Leaves of Grass (on Palmetto Records), a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman’s poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and instrumental octet. The work was presented in March 2005 in a sold-out performance at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall as part of a six-city US tour. More than seventy of his jazz compositions have been recorded by Hersch and by numerous other artists.

Hersch has collaborated with many instrumentalists and vocalists throughout the worlds of jazz (Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Bill Frisell); classical (Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Christopher O’Riley); and Broadway (Audra McDonald). Long admired for his sympathetic work with singers, Hersch has joined with such notable jazz vocalists as Nancy King, Norma Winstone, and Kurt Elling. His CD Da Vinci with Italian clarinet virtuoso Nico Gori came out on Bee Jazz in March 2012. He has received commissions from the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, the Gramercy Trio, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. A disc of his through-composed works, Fred Hersch: Concert Music 2001-2006, has been released by Naxos Records; these works are published by the prestigious firm Edition Peters.






He has been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship; grants from Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Meet the Composer; and seven composition residencies at the MacDowell Colony. In addition to a wide variety of National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air, Jazz Set, Studio 360, and Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, Hersch has also appeared on CBS Sunday Morning with Dr. Billy Taylor. A committed educator, Hersch has taught at The New School and the Manhattan School of Music, and conducted a professional training workshop for young musicians at the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall in 2008. He is currently a visiting professor at Western Michigan University and on the jazz studies faculty of the New England Conservatory.

A passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies since 1993, Hersch has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and in numerous concerts for charities including Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He has also been a keynote speaker and performer at international medical conferences in the US and Europe.

Hersch’s influence has been widely felt on a new generation of jazz pianists, from former Hersch students including Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus, to Jason Moran, who has said, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He’s perfection.”

An artist of unbounded imagination, ambition, and skill, Hersch is, as Downbeat magazine aptly declared, “one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation.”

Hailed by All About Jazz as “a giant in the making,” guitarist Julian Lage grew up in California and was the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary, Jules at Eight. He gained pivotal early exposure as a protégé of legendary vibraphonist Gary Burton, recording and touring with Burton on two projects: Generations (2004) and Next Generation (2005). Other recent high-profile sideman appearances include Lucky To Be Me and Let It Come To You by a longtime friend and close collaborator, pianist Taylor Eigsti. Having reunited with Gary Burton for live engagements beginning in 2010, Julian can also be heard as a member of the New Gary Burton Quartet on the CD Common Ground (featuring Scott Colley and Antonio Sanchez).

With his previous album Sounding Point, Lage arrived at a unique approach to composition and ensemble craft, a searching yet accessible sound that earned him his 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. The music was “a major find,” declared Time Out New York: “springy, intelligent chamber Americana that fits perfectly into a spectrum of Nonesuch-style players like Bill Frisell and Chris Thile’s Punch Brothers.”

His second effort is Gladwell, also with an eclectic group including cellist Aristides Rivas, percussionist Tupac Mantilla, bassist Jorge Roeder, and saxophonist Dan Blake. Lage says of the album: “We began playing with the idea of creating a story we could use as a guiding light in our writing process.... The result was the development of an imaginary and forgotten town known as Gladwell.... As a metaphor, Gladwell presented us with a clear architecture to compose songs that evoke feelings of people and places we hold dear.”

As with Sounding Point, Gladwell reflects Lage’s wide musical interests and talents, which range from chamber music, American folk, and bluegrass to Latin, world, string band, and modern jazz. The album includes solo guitar pieces, including versions of the standard “Autumn Leaves” and the folk song “Freight Train.” On three of the solo songs on the album, Lage multitracks three parts on a 1926 Martin 00-28 acoustic guitar. A student of the Alexander Technique, Lage treated these recordings as a study in the relationship between kinesthetic awareness and improvisation. “When you hear these pieces, you’re hearing a physical movement,” he explains. “You’re hearing an opening in me and the instrument that happens to be coming through a musical vehicle. I’ve been learning that you don’t always have to broadcast what you’re feeling when it comes to performing and recording; so long as you experience the moment as fully as possible, you can trust that the microphones will pick it all up.”

Lage’s recent trio appearances with master fiddler Mark O’Connor (also collaborating with O’Connor’s group Hot Swing) and bass giant John Patitucci have only strengthened the imprint of Americana and acoustic music on his work. In fact, Lage debuted on record at age 11 on Dawg Duos (1999), featuring David Grisman, Vassar Clements, Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck, and more. “Those were my heroes,” Lage marvels. (He went on to recruit Fleck for three tracks on Sounding Point.)

Whether he’s playing his Linda Manzer electric archtop guitar, writing with his rare 1934 R.A. Mango, or choosing the 1932 Gibson L-5, Lage brings a purity of tone and consistency of attack to everything in his repertoire.