Mozart composed his first symphony at age 5 and died at 35. Jazz piano prodigy Fred Hersch moved a little slower. He didn't compose his first symphony until age 12 and is still pounding the keys at 58, though barely.
Hersch spent two months in a coma in 2008 because of complications from AIDS and spent months relearning how to bend scales at the level that made The New York Times call him "singular among the trailblazers of their art." But he pulled it off.
And now he's coming to spudtown. The Boise Jazz Society and the Boise State Department of Music managed to book the jazz great and his band, which includes bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson, for a string of appearances.