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Heard Fresh: Music for Two Pianos

  • Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College 60 Manor Avenue Annandale-on-Hudson, NY United States (map)

Named "the most arrestingly innovative pianist over the last decade" by Vanity Fair, jazz titan Fred Hersch joins Sullivan Fortner, the 2015 American Pianists Association Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz, for a unique cross-generational double piano debut. Featuring the music of Fred Hersch, Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk and more.

About Fred Hersch:
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. With some three dozen albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, he´s an eight-time Grammy Award nominee who continues to earn jazz´s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist and 2016 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association. Proclaimed "the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade" by Vanity Fair, Hersch has long defined jazz´s creative edge in a wide variety of settings, from his breathtaking solo recitals and exploratory duos to his extraordinary trios and innovative chamber settings. As a composer, he is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship – and his latest CD release, Sunday Night at the Vanguard (Palmetto), is a definitive statement by his celebrated trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson.

When it comes to the art of solo piano in jazz, there are currently two classes of performers: Fred Hersch and everybody else.
— Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
...a pianist, composer and conceptualist of rare imaginative power.
— Nate Chinen, The New York Times
...the most arrestingly innovative pianist over the last decade or so.
— Tad Hendrickson, Vanity Fair

About Sullivan Fortner:
Sullivan Fortner is the 2015 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz of the American Pianist Association who has already made a significant foray into the jazz world that belies his young age. While touring with Stefon Harris & Blackout, Christian Scott Quintet, and the Roy Hargrove Quintet, Sullivan completed his Master’s degree in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music under the tutorage of Jason Moran, and Phil Markowitz. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Sullivan began playing music by ear at the age of seven.  Two years later, he was playing for church choirs throughout New Orleans. By the time he was 11 years old, Sullivan had won a Cox Cable “Amazing Kids Award”. At the age of 13, Sullivan furthered his formal education in piano by attending the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and earned scholarships to several prestigious summer jazz programs, including the Vail Jazz Institute and the Skidmore Jazz Studies Summer Program. A standout on the stage and in the classroom, Sullivan was Valedictorian of his high school class while simultaneously graduating from NOCCA.  He has studied and performed with many great musicians, including The Marsalis Family, Donald Harrison, Nicholas Payton, Billy Hart, Gary Bartz, Marcus Belgrave, The Jordan Family, Irvin Mayfield, Peter Martin, Dave Liebman, and a host of others.

His fundamentals as a player could hardly be stronger, and his instincts as a composer and bandleader are almost startlingly mature.
— Nate Chinen, The New York Times
The future of the jazz piano is secure in his hands.
— John Stevenson, Jazz Views
Earlier Event: August 19
Gershwin & Guthrie