“The most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so.” —-Vanity Fair Magazine
Jazz pianist, composer and NEC faculty member Fred Hersch
presents a masterclass for NEC students on Tuesday, October 7 at 3 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place in New England Conservatory’s Pierce Hall, 241 St. Botolph Street, Boston, MA. For more information, log on to: necmusic.edu/jazz or call 617-585-1122.
Proclaimed by Vanity Fair Magazine as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist over the last decade or so,” Fred Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader and theatrical conceptualist. He is also an in-demand collaborator with other bandleaders and vocalists. Hersch was the first artist in the 75-year history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play week-long engagements as a solo pianist, and his recent Grammy-nominated Palmetto CD Alone at the Vanguard documented one of those weeks. He was widely heralded for his 2011 multi-media piece My Coma Dreams which is being released on DVD on the Palmetto label in late November to raise money for Treatment Action Group an independent AIDS research and policy think tank. The New York Times Magazine called Hersch “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz – a jazz for the 21st century.” In addition to more than three-dozen recordings as a leader/co-leader, Hersch has earned numerous awards and commissions. An artist of unbounded imagination, ambition and skill, Hersch is, as DownBeat Magazine aptly declared, “one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of this generation.”
NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. Now in its 44th year, the program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.” The program currently has 98 students; 54 undergraduate and 44 graduate students from 14 countries.
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