Locals on the National Stage

Cincinnati native Fred Hersch has earned another pair of Grammy nominations; former Cincy musician and CCM student Brian Newman has signed with the legendary Verve Records; locally based WHY? announced its first new release since 2012.

click to enlarge Cincinnati native and multiple Grammy nominee Fred Hersch - Photo: Martin Zeman
Photo: Martin Zeman
Cincinnati native and multiple Grammy nominee Fred Hersch
Cincinnati native and globally acclaimed Jazz pianist/composer Fred Hersch has earned another pair of Grammy nominations. At the 59th-annual Grammy Awards, Hersch — whose Grammy nomination total now stands at 10 (he’s yet to win one) — will be up against John Scofield (who’s nominated for his work on a version of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” which was recorded in Cincinnati in the late ’40s), Brad Mehldau, Ravi Coltrane and Joey Alexander in the “Best Improvised Jazz Solo” category for his solo on Thelonious Monk's "We See" from Hersch and his trio’s Sunday Night at The Vanguard. That album was nominated for the “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” Grammy, in a category that also includes Peter Erskine, Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau, John Scofield and the Kenny Barron Trio. The Grammy winners will be announced Feb. 12.

More on Hersch’s long and illustrious career can be found at fredhersch.com.

• Former Cincinnati musician and one-time University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music student Brian Newman has been in the spotlight the past few years as a regular collaborator of Lady Gaga’s, including for work on her recordings and concerts with music icon Tony Bennett. The singer/trumpeter — who also draws big crowds on his own in his current hometown of New York City with regular club appearances — will soon be a major-label recording artist in his own right. Newman has signed with the legendary Verve Records (part of the Universal Music Group), which will release his first album for the label sometime next year.

“As a musician, growing up, I idolized Verve and was shaped by their artists and records,” Newman says in a press release (and Facebook post; see below) about the deal. “Now to be a part of that is the realization of a dream.”

For more on Newman’s activities since leaving Cincinnati, visit briannewman.com.

• Renowned Cincinnati-based Indie/Art Pop crew WHY? has announced its first new release since 2012. The band’s Moh Lhean is due March 3 on the Joyful Noise Recordings label. The album — WHY?’s first totally home-recorded endeavor since its 2003 debut — is said to be partially influenced by a “severe health scare” frontman Yoni Wolf endured (his doctors’ voices are sampled on the track “Proactive Evolution,” which features mewithoutYou’s Aaron Weiss). The band launches an extensive North American tour for the album on March 16 at Cincy’s Woodward Theater.

For more info (including links to pre-order the album) visit whywithaquestionmark.com

Kid Stardust, Coconut Milk Celebrate New Releases

• Cincinnati Indie Rock foursome Kid Stardust released its fantastic debut EP, Something Like This But Better, digitally earlier this fall (visit kidstardustmusic.bandcamp.com or click below to listen and download). This Friday, the band (singer Chrissy von Savoye, guitarist Drew James, bassist Ryan Hickman and drummer Rick Henry) will celebrate the release of the CD version of the addicting EP with a free show at The Comet (4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, cometbar.com). Showtime is 10 p.m. Lexington, Ky.’s Easy Fiction and Cincinnati’s A.M. Nice open the show.

Visit kidstardustband.com for more.

• Coconut Milk, which was nominated in the New Artist of the Year category at the 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and chosen by Jimmy Eat World to open the band’s concert at Bogart’s in October, has showcased its endearing “Beach Rock” sound on a pair of EPs and a few singles since 2014. This Saturday, the Indie Pop/Rock group (singer/guitarist Alex Baker, singer/keyboardist Katrina Farmer, drummer Josh Alsip and bassist George Byrd) unveils its first full-length album release, Shoop, Shoop, Shoop

In honor of the new LP’s release, Coconut Milk headlines a release celebration Saturday at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com). The show will also feature a performance by local Indie Rock faves The Yugos. Showtime is 10 p.m. The event is free. 

Check out Coconut Milk’s music at coconutmilk.bandcamp.com and click here to read CityBeat's profile of the band from earlier this year.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]

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