Persistence Pays Off with Rescheduled Presenting Series Artist Fred Hersch Trio
The Presenting Series welcomes the rescheduled and much-coveted jazz ensemble, Fred Hersch Trio, which teams renowned pianist Fred Hersch with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson. The three have released six acclaimed albums in less than a decade, earning two Grammy nominations and countless honors. The New Yorker has applauded them for playing with “high lyricism and high danger.” Fred Hersch Trio performs Thursday, September 30, 7:30 p.m. at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Jazz fans may know this deep cut: before working with Hersch, Hébert and McPherson served as legendary pianist Andrew Hill’s final rhythm section. The near-telepathic bond formed during that experience sharpened their sense with Hersch’s very different and rambling tastes. The trio deftly moves from tightly-constructed compositions to freewheeling improvisations, hushed ballads to lively playfulness, boisterous swing, and crystalline angularity.
Local audiences will finally experience their magical chemistry after the trio’s Presenting Series concert was canceled in Spring 2020 and again in the 2020–2021 season during the center’s closure.
Of the ensemble, June Wulff of The Boston Globe wrote, “Combines lyricism, brainy improvisation, sensitive interplay, and purring propulsion, adding up to one of the finest piano trios of our day.”
A fifteen-time Grammy nominee as both jazz pianist and composer, Hersch is a frequent winner of jazz’s most coveted awards, such as the 2016 Doris Duke Artist, the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2016 and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year, and the 2017 Prix Honorem de Jazz from L’Acádemie Charles Cros for the totality of his career.
Hersch has lived up to the admiration of The New York Times, who has 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.”
Hersch’s memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly (Crown Archetype Books/Random House), recounts his life in music, including his struggles and triumphs as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician. It was named one of 2017’s Five Best Memoirs by The Washington Post and The New York Times. A tireless AIDS advocate, he has also been the keynote speaker and performer at international medical conferences in the U.S. and Europe.