Magic Triangle Jazz Series: Fred Hersch Trio

Event Details

February 26, 2015
8:00 pm

Fine Arts Center Bezanson Recital Hall

UMass Amherst Campus

Glenn Siegel

The Fred Hersch Trio featuring John Hébert, bass and Eric McPherson, drums, has been called, “one of the major ensembles of our time," by Will Friedwald.

Their 2012 release, Alive at the Village Vanguard, “is audacious and extravagant,” writes Tom Conrad in Jazz Times Magazine. “The title of this album, and the vital music it contains, must be understood as his ringing, joyous, belligerent celebration of the miraculous fact that he is, in every sense, alive.”

“The music bristles with a spirit of invention,” writes Howard Reich, “its substantive harmonic content giving weight to the proceedings, while Hersch’s mercurial interactions with John Hébert and Eric McPherson keep listeners on edge.”

Proclaimed by Vanity Fair magazine, “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so,” 6-time Grammy nominee 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 and second artist in the 75-year history of the Village Vanguard to play week-long engagements as a solo pianist. As leader of his widely praised trio, and as the creative force behind his ambitious 2011 autobiographical production, “My Coma Dreams”, ( a full-evening work for 11 instrumentalists, actor/singer and animation/multimedia) -- Hersch has fully lived up to the approbation of the New York Times, who 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.”

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1955, Hersch began playing the piano at age four, was composing music by eight and winning national piano competitions by age ten. Hersch has collaborated with an astonishing range of instrumentalists and vocalists throughout 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). 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 He is currently 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 U.S. and Europe.


Bezanson Recital Hall is located within the Fine Arts Center.

Event Category

Music Music Performance