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Fred Hersch: Coma Dreams, Singers and His Own Story

Video interview with the Grammy-nominated pianist during the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival

Fred Hersch, Newport Jazz Festival 2015

During the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, JazzTimes set up a make-shift video production studio backstage inside the old barracks of Fort Adams. During three afternoons, a succession of artists—including Mike Stern, James Carter, Arturo O’Farrill, Michael League of Snarky Puppy, Chris Dingman, Kate McGarry, Billy Childs and many others—came in to talk about the festival, jazz education, their creative process and their own projects. You can also see more of these video interviews at the JazzTimes YouTube channel.

In this interview from Newport, pianist Fred Hersch talked about his musical development and important mentors. He explained the creation of his multi-media work, My Coma Dreams. Known for his work with singers, Hersch talked about his approach to collaborating with vocalists of all different styles. Hersch is in the process of writing his autobiography and he discussed his progress with the book. Hersch’s latest album is Solo.

Interview by Irene Lee. Video production by Paul Park. Editing by Lee Mergner.

Fred Hersch on his development as a jazz musician:

Fred Hersch on Coma Dreams:

Fred Hersch on collaborating with singers:

Fred Hersch on writing his autobiography:

Fred Hersch on his recent creative projects:

Originally Published