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Directed by Charlotte Lagarde, Carrie Lozano

United States 2016 74 mins. In English

Internationally renowned jazz pianist Fred Hersch has been playing professionally for the better part of four decades. Hersch has always been a rarity in the jazz world—a young musician in the ’70s and ’80s accepted by an older generation of bebop greats; a publicly gay man in the ’90s Midwest, bravely and openly HIV-positive; and presently, an eight-time Grammy nominee staging a multimedia performance inspired by his miraculous survival of a two-month, AIDS-related coma. Hersch’s influence has been widely felt on a new generation of jazz pianists, from former students Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson to his colleague Jason Moran, who has said, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He’s perfection.” Lagarde and Lozano’s intimate portrait follows the musician as he transforms his darkest hours into an innovative multimedia jazz theatre experience.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.