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The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College and Catskill Jazz Factory Present Heard Fresh: Music for Two Pianos

Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College and Catskill Jazz Factory present Heard Fresh: Music for Two Pianos. Named “The most arrestingly innovative pianist over the last decade,” by Vanity Fair, jazz titan Fred Hersch joins his protégé 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, the concert takes place Saturday, October 7th at 7:30 pm in the Sosnoff Theater. Tickets are $25-50 and can be ordered online at or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900.
Hersch’s Fisher Center debut follows the release of a new album, Open Book, and the publication of his memoir Good Things Happen Slowly, which chronicles Hersch’s life as an openly gay, HIV-positive jazz player with a deep look into the jazz culture that made such a status both transgressive and groundbreaking.  NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross interviewed Hersch this month.  Listen: Musician Fred Hersch Recounts A Life 'In And Out Of Jazz' in his new memoir.
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. For more information go to
“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. For more information go to
“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
Based in the heart of the Catskills, the Catskill Jazz Factory (CJF) is a dynamic jazz program founded in 2012 with an aim to support today’s best young jazz artists. CJF offers year-round school workshops, concerts, mountaintop residencies, lectures, and world-class performances in diverse spaces to a variety of regional audiences across the Hudson Valley by partnering with educational facilities, arts organizations, and a variety of local non-profits and businesses. CJF brings talent to new audiences in non-traditional venues for music, putting jazz where it hasn't been before.  For more information go to
About the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College
Named for the late Richard B. Fisher, former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees, the Fisher Center has become an influential force in performing arts programming, earning critical acclaim for innovative productions of opera, orchestral, chamber, dance, and theater programs. The Center was designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry and distinguished acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, and has received international praise for its breathtaking architecture and superb sound.
Each summer the Fisher Center presents the Bard SummerScape festival, seven weeks of performing arts programs reflecting the life and times of the featured composer of the esteemed Bard Music Festival, now celebrating its 28th year. Fall and spring seasons include original productions, special one-night-only concerts, and touring artists from around the globe.
The Fisher Center is home to the Bard College Theater & Performance and Dance Programs, providing students access to exceptional theater facilities and opportunities to work with professional directors and dramaturges on publicly attended productions throughout the year. The Bard College Conservatory of Music and Bard College Music Program stage regular orchestral and chamber concerts. For more information go to
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This event was last updated on 10-24-2017