ISRAELI JAZZ SHOWCASE
GILAD HEKSELMAN TRIO
SHAI MAESTRO TRIO
with special guest
DAVID BUCHBINDER ENSEMBLE
THURSDAY MARCH 6, 7pm
THE REX HOTEL – 194 Queen St. West
$15 at the door (no advance sales)
During February and March, in venues across the GTA, a number of Toronto’s leading cultural institutions are presenting Spotlight on Israeli Culture, a first-of-its-kind two-month showcase and celebration of contemporary music, drama, dance, art, film, video and photography, all originating in Israel. Organized in partnership with the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation, and with a mixture of both free and ticketed events, Spotlight on Israeli Culture gives audiences the opportunity to discover and fully experience some of the breakthrough Israeli talents making headlines around the world today.
Ashkenaz is thrilled to be part of this celebration on March 6 through the Israeli Jazz Showcase at the venerable Rex Hotel, Toronto’s longest-running jazz venues. As in so many musical styles, Israelis have been making an impact in the jazz world for decades. The Israeli Jazz Showcase will feature for the first time in Toronto the trios of guitarist Gilad Hekselman and pianist Shai Maestro, two Israeli artists who are emerging as important new voices in contemporary jazz. They will be joined by special guest, Toronto’s own David Buchbinder whose ensemble will present a unique, multi-cultural take on Israeli jazz and folk music. Don’t miss this rare triple-bill!
Presented as part of the Spotlight on Israeli Culture.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
About Gilad Hekselman
Gilad Hekselman has been developing a reputation as one of the most promising guitarists in New York since his arrival in 2004. In only a few years this native Israeli has shared the stage with some of the greatest artists in the New York jazz scene including Chris Potter, Mark Turner, John Scofield, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Esperanza Spalding, Sam Yahel, Jeff Ballard, Gretchen Parlato, Avishai Cohen, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Parks and Greg Hutchinson.
He has played all the major jazz clubs in New York including the Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club and Smalls. He is constantly touring world-wide and has played most major jazz festivals including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal and San Francisco.
Gilad is the winner of the 2005 Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition. He opened for guitar legend Paco de Lucia at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006, which led to a string of performances at the IAJE Conference and at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York.
That same year Gilad released his debut album Split Life (Smalls Records) recorded with bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ari Hoenig. It received rave reviews from the press as did his second album, Words Unspoken (LateSet Records), recorded and released in 2008 with Joe Martin, drummer Marcus Gilmore and tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm.
In 2009, Gilad recorded three tracks for Walt Disney Records, one of which was included in the record Everybody Wants To Be a Cat(2011). The album features versions to Disney songs played by a top-shelf lineup of musicians including Dave Brubeck, Joshua Redman, Esperanza Spalding, Diane Reeves, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Bad Plus and many other jazz legends.
In the spring of 2010 Gilad recorded his third album, Hearts Wide Open, with Joe Martin on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums and world-renowned saxophonist Mark Turner, a project that Gilad defined at the time as his “best recorded work so far”. The record received rave reviews globally and was featured in many Best-of-2011 lists such as The New York Times, Amazon and iTunes.
In April of 2013, Gilad released his fourth album, This Just In, under the JazzVillage label of Harmonia Mundi. Recorded and engineered in New York by Michael Cisneros Perez, the new album with Gilad Hekselman, Joe Martin, and Marcus Gilmore also features Mark Turner on three titles.
Born in Israel in 1983, Gilad studied classical piano from age six and began studying guitar at the age of 9. From age 12 to 14 he performed regularly with the band of a weekly children’s television show. He attended the prestigious Thelma Yellin School of Arts, graduating with excellence from the jazz department at age 18. Gilad received the America – Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship for studies abroad to attend The New School in New York, where he completed a BFA degree in performing arts in 2008.
Gilad performs on handcrafted guitars made by Victor Baker.
About Shai Maestro
Pianist Shai Maestro was born in Israel on February 5th 1987. He began playing classical piano at the age of 5. His first exposure to jazz music was at the age of 8, listening to Oscar Peterson’s “Gershwin Songbook”. He was later accepted to the Thelma – Yellin High School of Performing Arts in Givataim where he completed his studies with honors. While taking extended literature classes, Shai was one of the few students combining a major in the jazz and classical departments along with his regular studies.
While still a sophomore, he received a full tuition scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music’s 5 weeks Summer Program for two consecutive years. While on a concert tour in the US he auditioned to Berklee for the 4-year program and also received a full tuition scholarship.
Maestro studied jazz piano and RTC (Real Time Composition) with Opher Brayer for two years and classical piano with Prof. Benjamin Oren of the Music Academy in Jerusalem. In the years 2004-2010 he won scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Fund for jazz piano. He also won the national jazz ensembles competition “Jazz Signs” twice (2002 and 2003). Shai studied Indian music and tabla playing with Sanjey Kumar Sharma.
Maestro currently resides in New York were he is gaining recognition from his peers and the media, and is performing regularly with the best jazz artists in many jazz clubs and concert halls, alongside classical recitals. Shai has performed with world known musicians such as Jimmy Green, Jorge Rossy, Myron Walden, Donny McCaslin, Matt Penman, Scott Colley, Clarence Penn, Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Nate Smith, Harish Rhagavan, Mark Guiliana, Anthony Hart and Diego Urcola to name a few.
In 2006 Maestro joined world known bass player Avishai Cohen for touring all over the world. Playing in such venues as the Blue Note in NY, Ronnie Scott’s in England, The Olympia Hall, Salle Pleyel, and the Bataclan Theater in Paris, Vienne Jazz festival, Marciac Jazz festival, Cork Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s (San Francisco), Zaragoza JF, Vienna Concert house and many others. Several shows have been recorded to Mezzo channel and are broadcasted regularly throughout Europe.
Shai Maestro performs throughout four of Avishai Cohen’s releases: “Gently Disturbed” (2008) is this trio’s first record. The album has received rave reviews all over the world and has been a top seller in a few countries. “Sensitive Hours” (2008) was released in Israel in August and has been a top seller there. “Aurora” (2009) was released under EMI Blue Note Records. “Seven seas” (2011) was also released under EMI Blue Note Records
In May 2011 Maestro departed from Avishai Cohen’s band to pursue his way as a band leader, composer and arranger.
Shai Maestro Trio was formed in July 2010 after a session in studio in Brooklyn. The other two members of the trio, Israeli drummer Ziv Ravitz and Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder reside in NY as well. “The connection between the 3 of us was so strong that we naturally became a band. It was very obvious” Says Maestro.
Since then, the trio has been touring world wide, playing in festivals, concerts halls and jazz clubs receiving incredible response from audiences all over.
Their debut album, simply named “Shai Maestro Trio” was released under the french label Laborie and immediately found it’s place in iTunes top 5 jazz chart in France.
“This is just our beginning as a band… there is so much to do and the options are endless. I’m very curious to see where all this is going to..” Says Maestro.
About David Buchbinder
“When trumpet’s good, it’s real good, and David Buchbinder is one fine trumpet player.”(NOW Magazine). He’s also an accomplished, award-winning composer, producer and cultural inventor who brings a spirit of intensity and inquiry to everything he does, as he and his gifted co-conspirators go for the jugular. David leads numerous music groups, composes for concert, theatre, film and television, presents large-scale performance projects, and has toured extensively in North America and Europe. He has been involved in the creation and presentation of world music and jazz since 1987 and has earned a reputation as one of its compositional and instrumental leading lights, through his eponymous Jazz ensemble (just nominated for a JUNO Award and two National Jazz Awards) the FLYING BULGAR KLEZMER BAND, (three JUNO Award nominations in five recordings), his creation of SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus and of ASHKENAZ: A Festival of New Yiddish Culture.
He is a member of the Arabic fusion ensemble, MEDINA, and has recently founded a brass band playing music of the Roma (Gypsies). In the last few years he has been co-presenting projects with his wife, dancer/musician/actor Roula Said, including IMAGINE THE SOUND of PEACE and the music/dance series FEAST of the EAST.
He is the composer/creator/producer of SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus, a unique music-centered extravaganza for 11 musicians and 7 movement artist from the worlds of circus and modern dance, performing to sold-out houses and much excitement, at the Distillery Jazz Festival, the Festival d’Ete in Quebec City, and most recently in a self-produced, critically acclaimed run in Toronto.
David has composed the scores for six feature films, the animated short Stone of Folly (awarded the Cannes Film Festival Prix du Jury), and for theatre and modern dance. Recent and current compositional projects include the score for the Canadian feature Whole New Thing, a collaboration with playwright Jason Sherman, choreographer Allen Kaeja and Soulpepper Theatre Company, and a commission to compose a CD’s worth of music for jazz guitarist John Abercrombie and trumpeter John McNeil. He has been invited to perform his music at Dave Douglas’ Festival of New Trumpet Music at Tonic, NYC. David has received numerous grants and resident fellowships for study, composition and performance. He was nominated for the 2002 Louis Applebaum Award for Excellence in Film and Television Composition, and is the recipient of the 2003 ASIFA Animation Society Award for Excellence in Soundtrack Composition.
His performance and creative activities have been profiled extensively in all media including National Public Radio, CBC Radio and TV, CTV (Canada AM), Radio Canada, Bravo, BBC, Suddeutsche Rundfunk, The Manchester Guardian, Svenska Dagblatt, Tageszeitung, Daily Variety, the Los Angeles Times, the Forward, the Village Voice, a cover feature in Lifestyles magazine, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, Eye Magazine, and many others.
David’s newest CD, SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus has been receiving a stream of accolades since its release (November 2005), winning enthusiastic praise from critics, fans and leading musicians. It was picked as one of the Top 20 releases of 2005 by Jazz Report’s Bill King, prompted an excited commendation from renowned jazz composer John Zorn, and has spent seven weeks (so far) in the Top Ten on the Canadian campus radio jazz charts, peaking at #1 in both Earshot and Chart Attack.