Fred Hersch

About Fred Hersch

An acclaimed jazz pianist, composer, and educator, Fred Hersch is a supremely gifted soloist with a sophisticated yet unselfconscious approach to playing standards and his own original compositions. As a teacher, he counts both Brad Mehldau and the Bad Plus' Ethan Iverson as former students. As a player, 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, 2017's Open Book). Among other accolades, Hersch was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for composition, with which he created Leaves of Grass, an octet exploration of Walt Whitman's poetry. Openly gay and diagnosed HIV-positive at age 30, Hersch is a proponent for gay rights and AIDS research.

  • HOMETOWN
    Cincinnati, OH
  • BORN
    October 21, 1955

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