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 recently moved to 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. He is playing solo piano concerts worldwide. Shai has performed with world known musicians such as Jimmy Green, Jorge Rossy, Myron Walden, Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Jonathan Blake, Harish Rhagavan, Mark Guiliana, Orlando Le Fleming Edward Perez, Anthony Hart and Diego Urcola to name a few.
Since 2006 Maestro has been touring with world known bass player Avishai Cohen. 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 all over Europe.
Shai Maestro performs throughout three 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 top selling in a few countries.
“Sensitive Hours” (2008) was released in Israel in August and has been a top seller there to.
“Aurora” (2009) is released under EMI Blue Note Records.
The new record with Avishai will be released on 2011 also under Blue Note Records.