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The CCM Department of Jazz Studies will kick off its spring concert series with a pair of exciting and star-studded collaborative concerts. On Sunday, April 1, CCM’s Jazz Ensemble and Faculty Jazztet will be joined by Cincinnati-native and three-time Grammy Award nominee Fred Hersch for an intimate night of beautiful music.

The Jazz Ensemble will then join forces with CCM’s Philharmonia Orchestra and award-winning arranger and composer Bob Belden to present his celebrated work Black Dahlia in its entirety on Sunday, April 8Both concerts begin at 7 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium.

Acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been a fiercely independent presence on the New York jazz scene since he moved to the city in 1977. Long hailed for his expressive and individualistic style, Hersch has made more than 45 albums as a solo performer, composer, bandleader or duo partner since 1991. He will join the Jazz Ensemble and Faculty Jazztet for a concert celebration of his career on Sunday, April 1. Scott Belck conducts.

The following Sunday, three-time Grammy Award winner Bob Belden joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble as they team up to present his 12-part jazz-orchestral work, Black Dahlia. Inspired by the true story of Elizabeth Short, the “Black Dahlia” whose gruesome murder in 1947 attracted a great amount of public and media interest, this remarkable soundtrack was awarded five stars and masterpiece status by DownBeat magazine. The concert will also feature Grammy-nominee and former CCM instructor Tim Hagans on trumpet. Mark Gibson and Scott Belck conduct.

Each year, CCM Jazz students have the unique opportunity to work with a variety of guest artists and benefit greatly from the experience of working with seasoned professionals. Earlier in the season the Jazz Ensemble played with acclaimed vocalist Steve Lippia in a tribute to Frank Sinatra, and the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band welcomed Dennis Mackrel, drummer and band leader of the world famous Count Basie Orchestra, for last November’s “Atomic Basie” concert.

The Visiting Jazz Artist Workshop Series features clinics by jazz greats who perform with the students and present clinics, critiques and lectures. There are approximately 15 guest artists each year.

Performance Times

  • CCM Jazz Presents “The Music of Fred Hersch” at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 1
  • CCM Jazz Presents “Black Dahlia – An Evening with Bob Belden” at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 8

Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Tickets & Parking Information
Tickets to “The Music of Fred Hersch” and “Black Dahlia—An Evening With Bob Belden” are $12 each for general admission, $5 for non-UC students and free for UC students with valid ID. Parking is available in the CCM Garage (at the base of Corry Boulevard off of Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus.

For complete ticket and parking information, visit or call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

About Fred Hersch
Proclaimed by Vanity Fair magazine as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so,” Fred 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. He was the first artist in the 75-year history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play weeklong engagements as a solo pianist. His second featured run is documented on the 2011 release, Alone at the Vanguard, which was nominated for two 2012 Grammy Awards: Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Jazz Improvised Solo.

Hersch’s newest trio CD Whirl found its way onto numerous 2010 best-recordings-of-the-year lists, and served 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.”

In addition to his more than three-dozen recordings as a leader/co-leader, his numerous awards include a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition, and a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition, as well as two Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance. Hersch has featured himself as either a solo performer or at the helm of varied small ensembles, which, in addition to his trio, include a quintet and his “Pocket Orchestra” featuring an unconventional line-up of piano, trumpet, voice and percussion.

Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and celebrated solo jazz pianist of his generation. In 2006, Palmetto released the solo CD Fred Hersch in Amsterdam: Live at the Bimhuis and 2009 welcomed his eighth solo album, Fred Hersch Plays Jobim, cited as one of the year’s Top Ten jazz releases by NPR and the Wall Street Journal. The Jazz Journalists Association recently named Hersch as Jazz Pianist of the Year 2011.

About Bob Belden
One of the most adventurous arrangers of the 1990s and 2000s, Bob Belden took the music of Puccini, Prince and (with the most success) Sting and turned it into jazz. After graduating from the University of North Texas in 1978, he was with Woody Herman’s Orchestra for 18 months, worked with Donald Byrd off-and-on during 1981-1985, played with the Mel Lewis Orchestra and produced two of Red Rodney records.

In 1983, Belden settled in New York as a writer for studio sessions. Influenced by Gil Evans, Belden debuted on Sunnyside with Treasure Island, before working on transforming non-jazz material into jazz. Belden also assisted with Columbia Records’ Miles Davis reissue program.

He played in a duet with trumpeter Tim Hagans, issuing a live album on Blue Note in 2000 entitled Re-Animation Live! The 2001 release Black Dahlia showcased a 12-part orchestra paying tribute to the late Elizabeth Short, a celebrated Hollywood actress who was killed in 1947.

About Tim Hagans
Jazz trumpet player, arranger and composer Tim Hagans was born in Dayton, Ohio and studied at Bowling Green State University. His early influences include Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones and Woody Shaw. During the mid-seventies, Hagans had the opportunity to play with Stan Kenton and tour with Woody Herman, then moved to Sweden, playing and touring with Swedish and Danish big bands, small groups and teaching at various institutions.

In 1982, Hagans returned home to Ohio settling in Cincinnati. He taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and played at the Blue Wisp Big Band on a regular basis. In 1984, he took a teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Hagans then relocated to New York City where he taught privately and collaborated with such artists as Bob Belden, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Maria Schneider, Marc Copland, Vic Juris, Fred Hersch, Gary Peackock and many others. Since 1996 he has served as the artistic director of the Norrbotten Big Band based in Luleå, Sweden.

Hagans has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Best Instrumental Composition and two nominations for Best Contemporary Jazz CD. He has released numerous recordings as a bandleader, and Animation*Imagination (1999), Re-Animation (2000) and “Box of Cannoli” on The Avatar Sessions (2010) have earned him Grammy nominations. He resides in New York City.

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Jazz Series Sponsors: Christopher Dietz & Family and Jamey Aebersold Jazz

“The Music of Fred Hersch” Sponsor: The CCM Harmony Fund: Challenging Hate and Prejudice through Performing Arts

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