Jazz pianist Fred Hersch heats up the Brubeck Room

The jazz pianist Vanity Fair magazine calls the “most arrestingly innovative” in the last decade or so will perform Sunday, Nov. 17, at Wilton Library. Fred Hersch will sit at the piano at 4 p.m. for the library’s Hot  Cool: Jazz at the Brubeck room.

Mr. Hersch, who is also a composer, bandleader, and in-demand collaborator, was nominated for two 2011 Grammy Awards for “Alone at the Vanguard,” bringing his nomination totals to five. His new duo CD with guitarist Julian Lage, “Free Flying,” received a rare 5-star rating in the upcoming December issue of Downbeat.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1955, Mr. Hersch began playing the piano at age four and was composing music by age eight and winning national piano competitions starting at the age of 10. He has been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, grants from Chamber Music America, The National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer, and seven composition residencies at The MacDowell Colony.

He has performed and collaborated with a list of jazz Who’s Who greats such as Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Art Farmer, Stan Getz and Bill Frisell, as well as with classical artists Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, and Christopher O’Riley. He has even had a Broadway hand with Audra McDonald and has worked with notable jazz vocalists Nancy King, Norma Winstone and Kurt Elling.

He has taught at The New School and Manhattan School of Music,  and is currently on the Jazz Studies faculty of The New England Conservatory.

An informal reception will follow the concert performance. There is a suggested donation of $10 per person. Registration is highly recommended and pre-registrants are encouraged to arrive by 3:50 to be guaranteed seating.

The next Hot & Cool concert is set for Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. with Chris Brubeck and the French Connection featuring Guillaume Saint-James and Didier Ithurssary.

To register, call 203-762-3950, ext. 213 or visit wiltonlibrary.org and click on Events.