Fred Hersch, piano

Saturday, September 8, 2012, 6:30 pm

Jazz at the Maverick


Autumn in Paris: Reflections on Debussy and Ravel

The program will be announced from the stage.

There will be no intermission.



Sunday, September 9, 4 pm

Concert for Friends of the Maverick

Tim Fain, violin | Music of Bach, Ysaÿe,
and Philip Glass

next week

Saturday, September 15, 2012, 6:30 pm

Steve Gorn, bansuri flute; Allyn Miner, sitar; and
Ray Spiegel, tabla
An Evening of Indian Classical Music

Sunday, September 16, 2 pm

Final Concert of the 2012 Season
Tokyo String Quartet
Music of Haydn, Schubert, and Webern

































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’Académie 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 best-recordings-of-the-year lists. 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, and a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition, as well as two Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance. Hersch has featured himself as either a solo performer or at the helm of varied small ensembles, including his trio, a quintet, and his “Pocket Orchestra” featuring an unconventional line-up of piano, trumpet, voice and percussion. Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and celebrated solo jazz pianist 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 (Palmetto Records), a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman’s poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and an instrumental octet; the work was presented in March 2005 in a sold-out performance at Zankel Hall at Carnegie 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, and 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 duo 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 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 that have raised over $250,000 to date. He has also been the 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.”