portal_normal EE STRUCTURE orgcat: /PUBLICATIONS/EE-SUPPLEMENT-T/FEATURE

portal_normal PUBLICATION STRUCTURE cat: /publications/ee-supplement-t/feature

portal_normal CATEGORY STRUCTURE category: /PUBLICATIONS/EE-DOWNTOWN/NEWS

portal_normal STRUCTURE section: downtown

portal_normal getURLCurrent: /web/eveningecho/downtown/detailedstory?p_p_id=DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite&p_p_lifecycle=0&_DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite_arg_detailstory_uuid=5eac775d-da32-42b6-bda6-044375bd1db5

portal_normal getPortalURL getURLCurrent: http://www.echolive.ie./web/eveningecho/downtown/detailedstory?p_p_id=DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite&p_p_lifecycle=0&_DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite_arg_detailstory_uuid=5eac775d-da32-42b6-bda6-044375bd1db5

portal_normal getPortalURL: http://www.echolive.ie

portal_normal domain: http://www.echolive.ie

STRUCTURE EE_062016_general_layout.tpl - url: /downtown/Im-very-much-looking-forward-to-coming-to-Cork-says-Fred-Hersch-ahead-of-Jazz-Festival-concert-5eac775d-da32-42b6-bda6-044375bd1db5-ds

STRUCTURE EE_062016_general_layout.tpl - section: downtown

STRUCTURE EE_062016_general_layout.tpl - orgcat: orgcat = /PUBLICATIONS/EE-SUPPLEMENT-T/FEATURE

What's On Live
Fred Hersch spoke to Downtown, ahead of his Cork Jazz Festival concert.
Fred Hersch spoke to Downtown, ahead of his Cork Jazz Festival concert.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

"I'm very much looking forward to coming to Cork," says Fred Hersch ahead of Jazz Festival concert

When a venue has hosted musicians such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins, among many other jazz heavyweights, you’d expect the first pianist to get a solo concert residency there to be a very special talent, and that is the case with Fred Hersch, who was the first to headline a weeklong run in New York’s legendary Village Vanguard 71 years after it opened.
With a career that started with playing national concerts at the age of 10 in 1965, his talent as a player, composer, and teacher have never been questioned. Some of his former students, such as Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson (co-founder of the Bad Plus) have themselves been featured artists at the Cork Jazz Festival. This year, Fred will be taking to the stage with his trio for the evening concert in The Everyman on October 27.
Fred has had plenty of time to look forward to this concert: “This is a rescheduled concert from last year, so I’m very much looking forward to coming to Cork, as I hear the festival is quite lovely. There are so many places where I’m fortunate enough to be able to perform; unfortunately as a working musician, I can say that I’ve been to many wonderful places, but all I’ve seen is an airport or a train station and a concert hall, a restaurant and hotel. So I don’t always have the time to go out and be a tourist or take advantage of being in many lovely places.
“As a professional musician, I want to be in the best shape for the best possible performance for the audience. And also for myself, for my bandmates. If that means you’re taking a taking a nap in the afternoon, rather than running around town or going to a museum, then that’s sort of the choice I make. But hopefully in Cork I will have a lot of energy or have a day off, and I’ll get to actually look around.”

 The Fred Hersh trio: “I don’t really know if there’s that many trios out there that are playing the kind of range of music we are playing.

The Fred Hersh trio: “I don’t really know if there’s that many trios out there that are playing the kind of range of music we are playing.

While delighted to be coming to Cork, he isn’t putting any thought into what they will play at his concert: “When the curtain goes up, as they say ‘we’re all there’. From being on the road for years and years, we are always ready to play. I might ask the guys backstage just before we go on, ‘what do you want to start with?’ and that’s what we start with. Once we play that, then I have an idea of where the next thing is. Over the years, we’ve developed a really huge and very varied repertoire, a lot of my music, and of course, a lot of the great jazz classics — some of which I rearrange — things by Ornette Coleman and Wayne Shorter, and then things from the American Songbook which can include all kinds of things.
“I don’t really know if there’s that many trios out there that are playing the kind of range of music that we are playing, and it doesn’t sound like ‘oh, they’re playing this kind of bag, another bag’. “I think we play each tune in a very organic way. The only thing I can say that’s a feature of every performance is that we end with something by Thelonious Monk.”

On top of a substantial repertoire — Fred alone has recorded over 70 of his compositions — he says they don’t rely on sheet music: “Basically, everything is more or less memorised. Sometimes on a rare occasion I do back-in-the-book, for something that we haven’t played in a long time. I’ve just spent four weeks in New Hampshire at an
artists’ residence for composing. I’ve been writing some new material for the trio. So we’re likely to be playing some new things that we will be playing once we start our touring in Europe. We’re going to be adding new things.”

The Fred Hersch Trio and Linley Hamilton Quintet play The Everyman on Sunday October 27.
The Fred Hersch Trio and Linley Hamilton Quintet play The Everyman on Sunday October 27.

Fred doesn’t change his musicians much, with the trio working together for nearly a decade. They got together after Fred recovered from a traumatic part of his life. “In 2008, I was in a coma and I had a lot of other health challenges when I came out of it. I felt like, you know, I’ve really changed a lot, I’ve been through a lot, I want to change my band. I think when we formed it was just kind of magic.”

With his current trio he has released six full-length records, the last three all receiving multiple Grammy nominations. As Fred describes the band, his admiration for them is apparent: “John Hébert, who plays bass, and Eric McPherson, on drums, are very great sounds. They’re both adventurous, but also very respectful of the music that we’re playing. Eric is a master of intensity at a volume that never overwhelms the piano. John is sort of a loose cannon in the band, he’s always kind of pushing in super creative directions. But also both of these guys have really done their homework in terms of the jazz tradition. All of us love to just play a tune, swing and have a good time.”
The Fred Hersch Trio and Linley Hamilton Quintet play The Everyman on Sunday, October 27.