Shai Maestro, the gifted pianist born in Israel in 1987, joined the Avishai Cohen Trio as a fresh new voice in 2006. He began playing classical piano at the age of 5 with his first exposure to jazz coming at age of 8, listening to Oscar Peterson's "Gershwin Songbook". He was accepted to the Thelma Yellin High School of Performing Arts in Givataim where he completed his studies with honors, while simultaneously taking extended literature classes.
While still a sophomore, he received a full tuition scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music's Summer Program for two consecutive years. While on a concert tour in the US, including a performance at the IAJE with the school's big-band, he auditioned at Berklee for the 4-year program and was again offered a full tuition scholarship.
Maestro was first exposed to Avishai Cohen in 1997 during a concert by the Chick Corea Trio with Gary Burton in Sweden. Avishai's music had and still has a huge influence on Maestros musical development alongside with the influences of Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Chick Corea and many others, as well as German authors Herman Hesse and the Israeli philosopher Yishayahu Leibowitz. Scene-followers on the lookout for the next young whiz with jaw-dropping chops will want to take note of pianist Shai Maestro, a kid from Jerusalem who has liquid lightning in his fingers.
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