“Singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz—a jazz for the 21st century.” – The NY Times
A select member of jazz’s piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively influential creative force who has shaped the music’s course over more than three decades as an improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator and recording artist. He has been proclaimed “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” by Vanity Fair, “an elegant force of musical invention” by The L.A. Times, and “a living legend” by The New Yorker.
A fifteen-time Grammy nominee, Hersch has regularly garnered jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist, 2016 and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalist Association, and the 2017 Prix Honorem de Jazz from L’Acádemie Charles Charles Cros for the totality of his career.
He has long set the standard for expressive interpretation and inventive creativity in a stunning variety of settings, whether through his exquisite solo performances, as the leader of one of jazz’s era-defining trios, or in eloquent dialogue with his deeply attuned duo partners.
For his long-awaited return to Samueli Theater, Hersch will be joined by the Grammy-winning ETHEL, a quartet consisting of four composer-performers - Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin)— who fuse uptown panache with downtown genre mashup.