“Hearing Shai Maestro is like awakening to a new world,” as stated on the All About Jazz website. Indeed, this Israeli pianist, an inventive and profound authentic artist, has developed a distinct voice in the international scene. Deeply connected to his roots, he creates thoughtful modern jazz with an abstract and airy narrative composition. He began playing classical piano at the age of five and his initial introduction to jazz was listening to Oscar Peterson at the age of eight. Incorporating both classical and jazz, his inspiration sources range from Bach, Chopin and Beethoven to Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and Chick Corea. Currently based in New York City, he has collaborated with a great many artists including Theo Bleckmann, Donny McCaslin, John Patitucci, Mark Guiliana, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, Anat Cohen, Jorge Rossy, Ari Hoenig, Myron Walden , Gilad Hekselman, Jonathan Blake, Clarence Penn, to name a few.
This year, Maestro (31) released his fifth album recorded with the trio he founded seven years ago, his first album as a signed artist with ECM Records label. This album consists of six original compositions by the trio as well as two solo piano cover versions including a version for “My Second Childhood” composed by Matti Caspi. Maestro’s freestyle mix of original composition and Israeli music reflects his commitment to convey diverse emotion expressions in every musical phrase while maintaining his own unique touch and personal style. Daring and surprising was also the launch of Maestro’s music career as immediately after he rejected the idea of full scholarship studies at the Berklee College of Music, another offer came to join acclaimed bassist Avishai Cohen. A door to the world opened and the 19-year-old talent started developing his strong and singular self-expression as well as musical flexibility. The New York Times describes his work, “thoughtful and melodic.”
Maestro’s recent albums heralded a new phase in his artistic evolution, more laid-back and audacious, allowing music to evolve more organically than ever before. Bringing natural flow to the stage, his trio exhibits outstanding tight harmony. Last autumn they toured with the new album, reaching more than 15 countries around the world, including Europe, Japan and the United States. Contemplative and lyrical, notable virtuoso Shay Maestro creates his own world and language with jazz piano as highlighted in Down Beat Magazine, “Expressions of joy, introspective thoughts and heightened intensity all come to the fore.”
Shai Maestro Piano
Barak Mori Bass
Ofri Nehemya Drums
Photo by: Gabriel Baharlia
Duration of the show: 75 minutes.