Jazz professor Fred Hersch interviewed on NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross

Fred Hersch, Rutgers Distinguished Artist and professor of jazz piano, was interviewed by Terry Gross on her NPR show, Fresh Air, on September 14, 2017, in celebration of his new memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly, and new album, Open Book.

Hersch, a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist, spoke with Gross about his life as a musician and making his way through the jazz world as a gay man living with AIDS.

"I didn't expect to be 40. I didn't expect to be 50. I didn't expect to be 60," says Hersch, who was put into a seven-week medically induced coma in 2008 to treat viral pneumonia. "And actually, since I've recovered from the coma, I feel like my playing is, in every possible way, better. I think it's deeper. I don't - I'm not self - so self-critical or judgmental about what I play. I feel like my career has blossomed."

Listen to the podcast below, or read the transcript here.

Photo by Keith Muccilli
Posted September 2017