Fred Fischer grew up in Connecticut.  While in high school, he attended the Juilliard School and studied with jazz pianist and educator John Mehegan.  He took composition classes at the Mannes School in New York and attended Boston University.  In Boston, Fred studied classical piano with Margaret Chaloff (mother of sax player Serge Chaloff, one of the famed Four Brothers of the Woody Herman big band), whose students included jazz pianist George Shearing, and Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein.

Fred was Director of Music at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison for 17 years.  He and his late wife Patty played as the Glad Rags (banjo and piano) at Auntie Mame’s in Stirling, NJ  for 12 years (that’s an amazing record for a jazz gig!). He has appeared in jazz programs at the Watchung Arts Center, the Bickford Theater and the Hibiscus Restaurant in Morristown, Shanghai Jazz in Madison and for HomeSharing at the PeopleCare Center in Bridgewater. For the past several years he has appeared with jazz singer Carrie Jackson at the 16 Prospect Bistro in Westfield.

He plays with the Summit Stompers, a traditional jazz band whose members include Bart Bartholomew, Joe Licari, and Dick and Barbara Dreiwitz. He is the keyboardist and musical director for the group Amani (“Peace” in Swahili) which includes Stephen Fuller, Marty Eigen, Flip Peters and Nick Scheuble.

Fred has been the Minister of Music at the United Church of Christ­­-Congregational in Plainfield for the past 30 years. For many years he was the music director and conductor for the New Jersey Pro Musica Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, based in Scotch Plains, NJ.  He is presently the vice president and program chairman for the Plainfield Musical Club.  Fred also teaches piano at his home studio in Scotch Plains, where he lives with his wife, Judy.  They have four grandchildren.