All 88 keys on the piano in the Brubeck Room will be poised to “sing” when jazz pianist Fred Hersch sits down to play for Wilton Library’s Hot & Cool: Jazz at the Brubeck Room concert on Sunday, Nov. 17, beginning at 4 p.m..  Juggling all his skills as a musician, composer, bandleader, and in-demand collaborator, Hersch is making time to visit an appreciative Wilton Library audience for a Hot & Cool concert. Vanity Fair noted that Hersch is “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so.”

Hersch was nominated for two 2011 Grammy Awards for “Alone at the Vanguard,” bringing his nomination totals to five.  His latest entry, “Alive at the Vanguard” has been garnering wide critical acclaim as one of his best releases in his many-year recording career. Internationally-acclaimed, the CD has been awarded the 2012 Grand Prix du Disque by the Académie Charles Cros in France and has made the Best Jazz CDs of 2012 list in both Slate and Downbeat.  Hersch’s 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, 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 ten.  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.

A committed educator, Hersch has taught at The New School and Manhattan School of Music, and conducted a Professional Training Workshop for Young Musicians at The Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall in 2008.  He is currently on the Jazz Studies faculty of The New England Conservatory.

The Hot & Cool: Jazz at the Brubeck Room concerts are funded by the William and Karen Tell Foundation with special thanks to Ed and Catherine Romer and Chris and Tish Brubeck.  An informal reception follows the concert performance.  There is a suggested donation of $10 per person. Registration is highly recommended due to the popularity of this concert series. Pre-registrants are encouraged to arrive by 3:50 p.m. to be guaranteed seating. Waitlisted and walk-in registrants will be seated after 3:50 if space is available. A special thanks goes to Hilton Garden Inn for Mr. Hersch’s accommodations.

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 for the event, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org and click on Events or call 203-762-3950, ext. 213.  Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center.