Hersch, Fred(erick S.)

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Hersch, Fred(erick S.)

Hersch, Fred(erick S.), jazz pianist; b. Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 21, 1955. His maternal grandfather is a violinist, and his paternal grandmother was mostly an amateur pianist. When he was three or four he started playing by ear, and at age five he began to study classical piano. He became interested in jazz during his coll. years when he went to a jazz club in Cincinnati. He left coll. (where he had begun to study art history) and started to play around town at jam sessions for about two years. From 1975-77, he attended the New England Cons., in the same class as Jerome Harris and Marty Ehrlich. He graduated and moved to N.Y. in 1977, where he began to work with Jane Ira Bloom, Charlie Haden, Eddie Daniels, Toots Thielemans, and a number of singers. In the early 1980s, he worked with Art Farmer; Farmer and Hersch did a record with Joe Henderson, and he started playing with Henderson as well as subbing in Stan Getz’s band during this time. From 1984-89, he ran a recording studio, Classic Sound, in his loft apartment. Since the mid-1980s, he has primarily worked as leader; his first trio with Joey Baron and Marc Johnson didn’t perform much, while his second with Michael Formanek and Jeff Hirschfield, toured a bit in the U.S. In fall 1997 he toured the U.S. and played in London with the BBC Symphony and in solo recital. He taught at the New England Cons, from 1980-86, then privately in N.Y.

When he was about 29, he found out that he was HIV-positive. He has since participated in a number of AIDS fundraising projects. A sensitive soloist and accompanist, he has a unique and brilliant concept of solo piano involving a true counterpoint with the left hand and constant offbeat punctuations.


Horizons (1984); Sarabande (1986); E.T.C. (1988); French Collection (1989); Heartsongs (1989); Forward Motion (1991); Red Square Blue: Jazz Impressions (1992); Dancing in the Dark (1992); F. H. at Maybeck (1993); F. H. Trio Plays…(1994); Last Night When We Were Young (1994); Point in Time (1995); Passion Flower (1995).

—Lewis Porter

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Hersch, Fred(erick S.)

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