Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Fred Hersch Trio and Anat Cohen to perform March 28 at Schwab

Fred Hersch Trio, described by a Wall Street Journal writer as “one of the major ensembles of our time,” will perform with special guest Anat Cohen on clarinet/saxophone for a jazz performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in Schwab Auditorium.

Purchase tickets, which are $38 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $28 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

A Boston Globe critic calls Hersch “an elegant, highly melodic player.” A Vanity Fair writer describes him as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so.” And fellow jazz pianist Jason Moran said, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He’s perfection.”

The contemporary jazz composer, band leader and collaborator was creating music by age 8 and winning piano competitions at 10. He and other jazz artists have recorded more than 90 of his works. In addition to a prolific discography numbering in the dozens, he has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, including two for his trio’s 2016 release “Sunday Night at the Vanguard” (Best Instrumental Jazz Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo).

He has collaborated with some of the music world’s biggest artists and vocalists, including jazz musicians Stan Getz and Bill Frisell; classical violinist Joshua Bell; and vocalists Dawn Upshaw, Renée Fleming and Kurt Elling.

Hersch was named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist and the Jazz Journalist Association’s 2016 Jazz Pianist of the Year. He also is a committed music educator and advocate for AIDS research and fundraising.

Cohen, meanwhile, is known for her enthusiastic and extroverted musical delivery and making jazz music accessible. The Jazz Journalists Association chose her as Clarinetist of the Year for eight consecutive years, and she has topped the Downbeat critics and readers polls every year since 2011. She released her seventh album, renditions of Brazilian classics called “Luminosa,” in 2015.

Village Voice journalist Nat Hentoff called Cohen a most authentic musician: “She tells stories from her own experiences that are so deeply felt that they are very likely to connect listeners to their own dreams, desires and longings.”

Watch Hersch and Cohen perform “The Peacocks” in a concert at Lincoln Center.

The appearance with Hersch will be Cohen’s third visit to the Center for the Performing Arts. She performed with the Diva Jazz Orchestra in 2007 in Eisenhower Auditorium and led her own quartet in Schwab in 2011.

Spats Café and Speakeasy sponsors the performance.