News

Award-Winning Multi-talented Jazz Pianist Fred Hersch Launches St. Cecilia Music Center Jazz Series’ 2019/2020 Season with Special Guest GRAMMY(R) Nominated Jazz Guitarist Julian Lage, October 17, 2019

St. Cecilia Music Center (SCMC) in Grand Rapids will kick off their Spectacular Jazz Series with innovative award-winning jazz pianist Fred Hersch featuring special guest GRAMMY® nominated jazz guitarist Julian Lage on Thursday, October 17, 2019. Fourteen-time GRAMMY® nominated pianist Fred Hersch is proclaimed “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” by Vanity Fair, “a living legend” by The New Yorkerand “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of individualistic jazz—a jazz for the 21st century” by the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Hersch has regularly garnered jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist, 2016 and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2017 Prix Honorem de Jazz from L’Acádemie Charles Cros for the totality of his career.

Julian Lage is hailed as one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation. The 31-year-old New York-based musician boasts a prolific résumé as sideman, soloist, and bandleader. He’s also a GRAMMY® nominated guitarist who explores the American song catalog from a truly unique vantage point, performing music written by a range of audacious and original artists, from Roy Orbison to Ornette Coleman. Lage builds upon a wandering sonic outlook with jazz fusion, jam band liberation, standards, and rock ‘n’ roll using virtuosic precision, adventurous improvisation, and a remarkably clear vision.

St. Cecilia Music Center Executive Director Cathy Holbrook says, “We are thrilled to bring two amazing  jazz musicians, pianist Fred Hersch and guitarist Julian Lage, together in concert at St. Cecilia Music Center. It’s not often that we feature two jazz artists at the top of their individual arenas together in concert, so this experience will be extra special for all music lovers and jazz fans.”

Concert tickets for Jazz Pianist Fred Hersch featuring special guest Jazz Guitarist Julian Lage are $40 and $45 and can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.scmc-online.org.  A pre-concert reception for $15 at 6:30 pm, with wine and hors d’oeuvres, is available by reservation in advance (by Friday, October 11). A post-concert party with dessert, coffee and wine is open to all ticket-holdersto meet the artists, obtain autographs and CD purchases.

For more about the artists, videos and audio releases see fredhersch.com and julianlage.com/home.

All SCMC Spectacular Jazz Series Concerts this Season

  • The Jazz Series will launch on October 17 with Fred Hersch featuring special guest Julian Lage. Fred Hersch is a select member of jazz’s piano pantheon. He is known as one of the most influential creative forces who has shaped jazz piano over more than three decades as an improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator and recording artist.  Julian Lage is hailed as one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation. The 31-year-old New York-based musician boasts a prolific résumé as sideman, soloist, and bandleader as well as a GRAMMY® nomination. Lage builds upon a wandering sonic outlook with jazz fusion, jam band liberation, standards, and rock ‘n’ roll using virtuosic precision, adventurous improvisation, and a remarkably clear vision.
  • On January 16, 2020 SCMC will bring Emmet Cohen’s Master Legacy Series featuring Benny Golson to the Royce Auditorium Stage.This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the renowned saxophonist Benny Golsonwith the Emmet Cohen Trio. Emmet Cohen’s mission is to celebrate the last remaining legendary jazz artists by documenting, featuring, and preserving their artistry and excellence in the later stages of their careers. As the producer of the Masters Legacy Series, Cohen has released two acclaimed recordings including Volume 1 with Jimmy Cobb and Volume 2 with Ron Carter.
  • On March 5, the uniquely talentedJazz Vocalist Luciana Souza will perform on the Royce Auditorium Stage. Billboard Magazineproclaims Luciana Souzaas “a uniquely talented vocalist who organically crosses genre borders. Her music soulfully reflects, wistfully regrets, romantically woos, joyfully celebrates…” Entertainment Weekly says, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries.” Beginning her recording career at age three with a radio commercial, Souza recorded more than 200 jingles and soundtracks becoming a first-call studio veteran at age sixteen. From 2005 to 2010, she was the Jazz Artist in Residence with the prestigious San Francisco Performances. In 2005 and 2013 Luciana was awarded Best Female Jazz Singer by the Jazz Journalists Association.
  • Capping off the 2019/2020 Spectacular Jazz Series season will be the two time Grammy-nominated Clayton Brothers Quintet performing on April 16, 2020. The Clayton Brothers Quintet which is led by John and Jeff Clayton became a quintet when trumpeter Terell Stafford joined the group. The quintet is invigorated by young blood with John’s son Grammy-nominated Gerald Clayton on piano and David Alvarez on drums.

Tickets

Season subscription tickets to the 2019-2020 Spectacular Jazz Series and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Concert Series are now available at special rates by calling 616-459-2224 or visiting St. Cecilia Music Center at 24 Ransom NE, Grand Rapids, 49503 or online for new subscribers at www.scmc-online.org. Single tickets to chamber, jazz, and folk concerts are also on sale now and can be purchased by phone at 616-459-2224 or online at www.scmc-online.orgFor each concert,a post-concert party is open to all ticket-holders giving the audience the opportunity to possibly meet the artists and obtain signed CDs of their releases There will also be pre-concert receptions for the CMS of Lincoln Center concerts and the Jazz Series concerts featuring wine and hors d’oeuvres for $15 per person.

Series Subscribers are offered with great benefits including:

  • 15-20% discount off single ticket prices
  • A discounted rate on pre-concert reception ticket price ($10 per person per reception in the Jazz or Chamber Music series – discounted from $15 per person per reception)

Ticket prices: There is a $2.50 fee for all single tickets. All concerts start at 7:30pm. All concerts include a post-concert party for concert ticket holders.  

SUBSCRIPTION TICKETS

Spectacular Jazz Series 

4-concert subscription

15% discount off single ticket prices

A Sec. Subscription $153

A Sec. Subscription with Pre-Concert Reception $193

B Sec. Subscription $136

B Sec. Subscription with Pre-Concert Reception $176

Chamber + Jazz Subscription package

20% discount off single ticket prices

7-concert combination series 

A Sec. Subscription $252

A Sec. Subscription with Pre-Concert Reception $322

B Sec. Subscription $224

B Sec. Subscription with Pre-Concert Reception $294

Chamber Music Society Series

3-concert subscription

15% discount off single ticket prices

A Sec. Subscription $115

A Sec. Subscription with Pre-Concert Reception $145

B Sec. Subscription $102

B Sec. Subscription with Pre-Concert Reception $132

SINGLE TICKETS

Jazz Series Single tickets 

Fred Hersch featuring special guest Julian Lage

Thursday, October 17

A section $45

B Section $40

Emmet Cohen’s Master Legacy Series featuring Benny Golson

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A section $45

B section $40

Luciana Souza

Thursday, March 5, 2020

A section $45

B section $40

The Clayton Brothers

Thursday, April 16, 2020

A section $45

B section $40 

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Single tickets 

Great Innovators

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A section $45

B section $40

French Enchantment

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A section $45

B section $40

From Prague to Vienna

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A section $45

B section $40

Folk Series single tickets 

Lee Ann Womack

Thursday, October 3, 2019

A section $45

B section $40

Judy Collins

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A section $55

B section $50

 

The Infamous Stringdusters

Thursday, February 6, 2020

A section $35

B section $30

Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A section $55

B section $50

Chris Thile

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A section $55

B section $50

Raul Midón

Thursday, February 27, 2020

A section $45

B section $40

 

Bio – Fred Hersch, Jazz Pianist

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. He has been proclaimed “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” by Vanity Fair, “an elegant force of musical invention” by The L.A. Times, and “a living legend” by The New Yorker.

A fourteen-time Grammy nominee, Hersch has regularly garnered jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist, 2016 and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2017 Prix Honorem de Jazz from L’Acádemie Charles Cros for the totality of his career.

Hersch has long set the standard for expressive interpretation and inventive creativity in a stunning variety of settings, whether through his exquisite solo performances, as the leader of one of jazz’s era-defining trios, or in eloquent dialogue with his deeply attuned duo partners.

With more than three-dozen albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch consistently receives lavish critical praise and numerous international awards for each highly anticipated new release. His latest album with his long-standing trio, 2018’s Live In Europe(Palmetto), documents one remarkable evening in Brussels and has been hailed as its best to date – considerable praise for an ensemble that consistently plays at such a staggeringly high level.

Hersch has engaged in duo partnerships with a number of spirited artists, including Anat Cohen, Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Miguel Zenon; and vocalists Kurt Elling, Esperanza Spalding, Kate McGarry, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Renée Fleming.

As versatile and exploratory as his trio and duo excursions can be, nowhere is the boundless range and emotional diversity of Hersch’s artistry as evident as in his breathtaking solo performances. JazzTimes has hailed his unaccompanied playing as “a complete, self-sufficient, uniquely pure art form,” while All About Jazzhas remarked that “when it comes to the art of solo piano in jazz, there are two classes of performers: Fred Hersch and everybody else.”

In 2006, Hersch became the first artist in the 75-year history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play a week-long engagement as a solo pianist. His second solo run there was documented on the Grammy-nominated Alone at the Vanguard, one of five recordings he’s made at the iconic New York City club. His 2017 Palmetto album Open Book was, as the title implies, his most revealing and intimate solo outing, and was nominated for two 2018 Grammy Awards.

His acclaimed memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly(Crown Archetype Books/Random House) was released in 2017. The book compellingly reveals the story of his life in music along with a frank recounting of his struggles and triumphs as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician. It was featured in the Sunday New York Times and on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” named one of 2017’s Five Best Memoirs by the Washington Post and The New York Times, and acclaimed as 2018’s Book on Jazz of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. His story has also been told via the feature documentary The Ballad of Fred Hersch, which premiered to a sold-out house at the prestigious Full Frame Film Festival in March 2016 and is now streaming on Vimeo.

While widely renowned for his playing, Hersch has earned similar distinction with his writing, garnering a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition among other awards. The same year he created Leaves of Grass, a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman’s poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and an instrumental octet. Leaves of Grass was selected to open the 2017 Jazz at Lincoln Center season at the Appel Room.

Hersch’s visionary 2010 theatrical project, My Coma Dreams,prompted the New York Times Sunday Magazine to describe the composer as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz—a jazz for the 21st century.”  Based on visions Hersch experienced during a two-month coma in 2008, the evening-length multimedia collaboration with writer/director Herschel Garfein for 11 instrumentalists and an actor/singer was captured on video at Columbia University and released by Palmetto on a 2014 DVD.

For two decades Hersch has been a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and in numerous concerts for charities including Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. To date, his efforts have raised more than $300,000. He has also been a keynote speaker and performer at international medical conferences in the U.S. and Europe.

A committed educator, Hersch has taught at New England Conservatory, The Juilliard School, The New School and The Manhattan School of Music. He is currently a Visiting Artist at Rutgers University. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Grinnell College and Northern Kentucky University. Hersch’s influence has been widely felt on a new generation of jazz pianists, from former students Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson to his colleague Jason Moran, who has said, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He’s perfection.”

Bio – Julian Lage, Jazz Guitarist

Hailed as one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation and “highest category of improvising musicians” (New Yorker), Julian Lage has spent more than a decade searching through the myriad strains of American musical history via impeccable technique, free association and a spirit of infinite possibility. Though only 31, the California-born New York-based musician boasts a long, prolific résumé on his own accord in addition to sideman (alongside such icons as Gary Burton and John Zorn) and duo partner (with Nels Cline, Chris Eldridge and Fred Hersch, among others. Love Hurts– which marks Lage’s third Mack Avenue LP recorded with a trio, and his first to feature bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King (The Bad Plus) – sees the GRAMMY® nominated guitarist exploring the American song catalog from a truly unique vantage point, performing music written by a range of audacious and original artists, from Roy Orbison to Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Giuffre to Peter Ivers. Lage and his rhythm section build upon the wandering sonic outlook of his previous LPs, further impelling his defining amalgam of jazz fusion, jam band liberation, standards, and embryonic rock ‘n’ roll with virtuosic precision, adventurous improvisation, and a remarkably clear vision.