Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

May/June 2015: Esperanza Spalding

Fred Hersch: Floating

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Originally from Cincinnati Ohio, Fred Hersch is one of the truly great pianists on the scene today. After showing early promise as a classical pianist, Fred became immersed in jazz while studying at Grinnell College in Iowa. He broke onto the scene in the late 70s as a sideman with Art Farmer, Jane Ira Bloom, and Joe Henderson, and soon after established himself as a formidable solo artist.

His first record as a leader, Horizons (1984), was the first of many recordings demonstrating his subtle touch and his contrapuntal approach to the piano. He is now well-established as one of the top pianists in New York, regularly performing at all of the top venues.

Particularly known for his solo, duo, and trio playing, Fred is the only pianist to play week-long solo engagements at the celebrated Village Vanguard, and his acclaimed series of duo performances has seen him on stage with Miguel Zenón, Kenny Barron, and Ravi Coltrane. He is also well-known as a teacher—he has taught at Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, and the New England Conservatory, and his prestigious alumni include Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson.

This year at the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Fred will be joined by his regular trio members, John Hébert on bass and Eric McPherson on drums. His recent recording with this trio, Floating, is nominated for two 2015 Grammy awards.

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