posted February 22, 2011

Fred Hersch to Present Solo Jazz Piano Recital Feb. 24

The weekend storm changed the plans some, but in the end didn’t cancel them out entirely.

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch will present a solo recital at Hope College on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Hersch was originally to perform with his trio on Monday, Feb. 21, but was unable to reach West Michigan for the event because of the storm that struck the area the day before, his flight rerouted back to New York just 10 miles from the Grand Rapids airport. He has arrived on campus since, though, and in addition to performing on Thursday is working with students through a residency previously scheduled in conjunction with the Feb. 21 concert.

A pianist and composer, Hersch is no stranger to Hope’s stage after performing at the college in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010, making this year’s performance his fifth appearance.
Hersch has been described by “Downbeat” as “one of the small handfuls of brilliant musicians of his generation.” Hersch’s numerous accomplishments include a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition, two Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including more than two-dozen albums as bandleader/solo pianist.

Hersch has acted as a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies since 1993. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and at numerous concerts for the charities “Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS” and “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS” that have raised more than $250,000 to date.

Hersch is currently a visiting professor at Western Michigan University and is on the jazz studies faculty of The New England Conservatory.

Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the central Hope campus at the former 127 E. 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues.