“The most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade”, is how Vanity Fairdescribed the American jazz musician, band leader, composer and educationalist Fred Hersch. And this year he’s coming to Oslo Jazz Festival to play an exclusive solo concert!
Fred Hersch began to play the piano at the age of four. At 21 he was part of New York’s jazz scene and he’s been based there ever since. As well as being a highly active artist, he also teaches young musicians. Brad Mehldau, who’s a former pupil, claims he never would have played had it not been for Hersch. Moreover, Hersch has also been nominated for no fewer than 12 Grammy awards and has won a series of international jazz prizes.
Hersch’s has suffered much ill-health due to a HIV diagnosis, about which he is very open. He has also acted as spokesman for this cause and a documentary was made 2016 which portrayed this aspect of his life as well as focusing on his musicianship. In 2008 he went into a two-month long coma as a result of pneumonia, an experience that was subsequently depicted in a theatre performance he wrote: My Coma Dreams.
Hersch has created music for different line-ups and constellations, and has appeared live on many stages, from major store festivals to intimate jazz clubs. This time, at the Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria, he’ll be playing solo and we can look forward some beautiful compositions delivered with dazzling piano artistry.