The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present two main stage performers with disabilities as part of the 2015 Jazz Festival. Fred Hersch will play from 7:10-8:10pm on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park at the Jazz Festival.

As a solo pianist, composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist, Fred Hersch lives up to the praise of the New York Times, who, in a featured Sunday Magazine piece, aptly declared him, “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz – a jazz for the 21st century.” With three-dozen recordings as a leader/co-leader, and numerous awards including a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and being named Jazz Pianist of the Year 2011 by The Jazz Journalists Association. He is also the first artist in the 75-year history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play weeklong engagements as a solo pianist. He has received eight Grammy® nominations – as pianist and composer (two in 2012 for his historic Alone at the Vanguard).

Hersch is among the most admired of contemporary jazz musicians, having collaborated with an astonishing range of instrumentalists and vocalists throughout worlds of jazz (Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Art Farmer, Stan Getz and Bill Frisell); classical (Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Christopher O’Riley); and Broadway (Audra McDonald). Dubbed by Vanity Fair magazine as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so,” Hersch has been an obvious influence on a new generation of pianists including former Hersch student Brad Mehldau and Jason Moran, and remains an in-demand collaborator with other noted bandleaders and vocalists. The leader of a celebrated trio whose Floating received two 2014 Grammy® Nominations, he also placed as #3 Jazz Pianist in the 2015 Downbeat Critic´s Poll. Hersch also recently mounted the ambitious production, “My Coma Dreams,” a critically-acclaimed full-evening multimedia work available on DVD.