Shai Maestro (1987) is one of the most promising and talented pianists of his generation. Since his debut with his own trio in 2011, Shai has shaped a strong and unique personal identity and has portrayed an incredible musical fluidity, making Shai and his trio one of the most powerful and harmonious groups in the jazz today.
Shai’s fifth album and first album for the famous label ECM, “The Dream Thief”, features the gifted pianist fronting his superlative trio with young and fellow Israeli Ofri Nehemya on drums and Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder, and also playing alone. Maestro portrays characteristically thoughtful originals, each one with a story to tell.
No to Berklee?
Shai Maestro began playing classical piano at age five and graduated with honors from the Thelma Yellin High School of Performing Arts in Givataim, Israel. After winning the National Jazz Ensembles Competition “Jazz Signs” in 2002 and 2003 and receiving excellency scholarships 2004-2010 from the America-Israel Cultural Fund for jazz piano, Maestro attended Berklee College of Music’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program in Boston,
where he was awarded a full scholarship to attend Berklee full-time - an offer Maestro ultimately declined.
Maestro’s intuitions proved right: just a few weeks later, he received a phone call from bassist Avishai Cohen. He invited Maestro to join his Trio with drummer Mark Guiliana. Maestro recorded four albums with the Avishai Cohen Trio. The trio toured the world and played at some of the world’s most renowned venues and festivals.
In July 2010, Maestro formed his own trio and just a few months later, recorded their well- received first album, 'Shai Maestro Trio'. The trio began an intense schedule of touring the world, playing up to 80 concerts a year and sharing stages with groups led by Chick Corea, Tigran Hamasyan, Esperanza Spalding and Diana Krall. In 2012, the trio released their second album 'The Road to Ithaca'.
Shai released recent albums 'Untold Stories' and 'The Stone Skipper' in 2014 and 2016. Listeners and the media outlets alike, including DownBeat Magazine, NPR, BBC, JazzFM, TSF, and WBGO’s The Checkout, received the albums with critical acclaim. With these albums, Maestro entered a new phase in his artistry: taking time, fearing less, daring more, and allowing the
music to unfold organically, more than ever. Especially live, the natural developments made the trio one of the most powerful and harmonious groups in the jazz today. The past few years, the trio has performed at the most renown stages, venues and festivals worldwide. Besides his trio, Maestro recorded on vocalist Theo Bleckmann‘s. Maestro has also received critical acclaim appearing on Mark Guiliana’s Jazz Quartet’s debut album 'Family First' (2015).
In 2018 Shai signed with major jazz label ECM and recorded his album “The Dream Thief”, featuring his trio, but also him as a solo-pianist. Introspective, lyrical, virtuosic and differentiated.
What does the press say?
"The Dream Thief is the best album of (Keith)Jarrett for a long time, not by himself, but so consistent in continuing an aesthetic of the underhand moment that it catapults Shai Maestro far forward into the first league of piano poets" - JazzThing
“Hearing Shai Maestro is like awakening to a new world.” – All About Jazz
“Expressions of joy, introspective thoughts and heightened intensity all come to the fore” – Downbeat Magazine
“...Maestro’s shimmering chords and dynamic build highlighted the
pianist’s impassioned, emotionally rich compositions” – Jazzwise Magazine
Need we to say more? Maybe that you order your tickets immediately!
Shai Maestro - My Second Childhood
Shai Maestro Trio - Improvisation
Shai Maestro Trio - Treelogy