Close Your Eyes and Listen

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Fred Hersch at the piano

Photo by Mark Niskanen

Fred Hersch proudly received his first grant in 1989 from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since that pivotal moment, he’s gone on to win a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition and was voted Jazz Pianist of the Year in 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Most recently, Hersch was nominated for two Grammies with his live solo effort, Alone at the Vanguard.

There is little Hersch has not done. Composed music for Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass? Check. Performed an entire album of songs by Antônio Carlos Jobim? Check. Established an orchestra, the Pocket Orchestra, which includes piano, voice, trumpet, and percussion? Check. The list goes on and on, spanning four decades and nearly 50 albums. Though his work varies in texture and sound, Hersch's original and intimate touch is always present.

So sit back and listen to Hersch reflect on his wildly rich career and what it feels like to close his eyes and play.

To learn more about Fred Hersch, check out his site fredhersch.com

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