Fred Hersch

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About Fred Hersch

An acclaimed jazz pianist, Fred Hersch is a supremely gifted soloist with a sophisticated yet unselfconscious approach to playing standards and his own original compositions. His nuanced style, influenced by such giants as Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, and Oscar Peterson, is considered a benchmark for modern jazz, garnering him multiple Grammy nominations (1992's Dancing in the Dark, 2014's Floating, and 2017's Open Book). Among other accolades, Hersch was awarded a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition, with which he created Leaves of Grass, an octet exploration of Walt Whitman's poetry. While he often performs solo, he has collaborated with artists like the Crosby Street String Quartet (2022's Breath by Breath), Enrico Rava (2022's The Song Is You), and Esperanza Spalding (2023's Grammy-nominated Alive at the Village Vanguard). Openly gay and diagnosed HIV-positive at age 30, Hersch is a vocal proponent for gay rights and AIDS research and education.

Cincinnati, OH, United States
October 21, 1955

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