Fred Hersch is a American jazz pianist and composer. Proclaimed by Vanity Fair magazine, “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so," five-time Grammy nominee Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist, as well as remaining an in-demand collaborator with other noted bandleaders and vocalists. As a solo pianist; as leader of a widely praised trio whose album Whirl found its way onto numerous 2010 best-recordings-of-the-year lists; and as the impetus behind the ambitious 2011 production, My Coma Dreams, a full-evening work for 11 instruments, actor/singer and animation/multimedia—Hersch has fully lived up to the approbation of the New York Times who, in a featured Sunday Magazine article, praised him as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz – a jazz for the 21st century.” He was nominated for two 2011 Grammy Awards for Alone at the Vanguard - for Best Jazz Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo; these are his fourth and fifth nominations. His newest trio album, the two-CD Alive at the Vanguard, has been garnering wide critical acclaim as one of his best releases in his 30-year recording career. It has been awarded the 2012 Grand Prix du Disque by the Académie Charles Cros in France and it was named one of the Best CDs of 2012 by Downbeat Magazine.