Pianist Shai Maestro was born in Israel and began playing classical piano at the age of 5 under the instruction of Ms. Irena Krivatz. His first exposure to Jazz music was at the age of 8 while listening to Oscar Peterson’s records and particularly “The Gershwin Songbook”. “I couldn’t stop listening to that album. There was something about Oscar’s playing there… The combination of his light – crystal touch, Gershwin’s incredibly beautiful songs and the way the band swung got me completely captivated” says Maestro.
In 2009, while playing piano is Avishai Cohen’s trio, Maestro relocated to New York, where he currently resides. “The abundance of incredibly great, hardworking and dedicated musicians that live and create in NY is overwhelming. There is so much to learn. The fact that you can share the stage with these musicians is the best school one can hope for and that’s what makes the difference for me”.
Since his move to New York, Maestro keeps a busy schedule, he can be found performing and recording with international artists such as John Patitucci, Theo Bleckmann, Jorge Rossy, Mark Guiliana, Donny McCaslin, Ben Wendel, Anat Cohen, Marcus Gilmore, Antonio Sanchez, Avishai Cohen, (trumpet), Avishai Cohen (Bass), Scott Colley, Ari Hoenig, Gerald Clayton, Justin Brown, Keith Carlock, Gilad Hekselman, Johnathan Blake, Camila Meza, Clarence Penn, Antonio Hart, Matt Penman, Harish Raghavan, Julian Lage, Jorge Roeder, Matisyahu, Kenrick Scott, Nate Smith, Nir Felder, Nate Wood, Jo Lawry, Will Vinson, Linda Oh, Joe Sanders among many others. Maestro and has recently recorded on Theo Bleckmann‘s upcoming album for German label ECM in collaboration with legendary producer Manfred Eicher as well as well as on Mark Guiliana‘s Jazz Quartet’s album “Family First” (Beat Music productions). He is a regular member in the groups of Mr. Bleckmann’s, Mr. Guiliana’s as well as Mr. Ari Hoenig. In 2011, Maestro left Cohen’s group to pursue his own career as a band leader. “It was the right time. I felt this burning energy inside that led me to continue my road and to take this difficult leap towards becoming a band leader”