"The new trio has just released a recording titled Gently Disturbed, on which Maestro who recently turned 20 — stands out as a virtuoso, at times combining classical and modern jazz chords with the finesse of new stars like Mehldau, or like a relaxed Phillip Glass playing jazz. And overall, it’s beautiful stuff." - The Prague Post
Time Out London:
Avishai Cohen Trio
Fri Aug 24 Ronnie Scott's, 47 Frith St, W1D 4HT
"...There's a driving intensity to this band that allows Cohen and drummer Mark Guilianam free reign, while mega-talented 20-year old piano prodigy Shai Maestro more than lives up to his apt surname..."
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, including a performance at the IAJE with the school's big-band, he auditioned to Berklee for the 4-year program and also received a full tuition scholarship.
In his senior year, Shai co-led the school's salsa ensemble, which introduced him to percussionist Roni Iwryn who then took him as his piano player in one of Israel's best salsa ensembles. The band performed regularly in a salsa club every Thursday night.
Shai studied jazz piano and RTC (Real Time Composition) with Opher Brayer for two years and is currently studying classical piano with Prof. Benjamin Oren of the Music Academy in Jerusalem. In the years 2004-2008 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).
Maestro began gaining recognition from his peers and the media and is performing regularly with Israel's best jazz artists in many jazz clubs and concert halls, alongside classical recitals, chamber music. He is playing solo piano improvised concerts worldwide. Shai has preformed with world known musicians such as Jimmy Green, Anthony Hart, Diego Urcola and more.
In the last two year Shai have been touring the world with Avishai Cohen. Platying on such venues as the Blue Note in NY, Ronnie Scott's in England, The Olympia hall in Paris, The Bataclan Theater in Paris, Vienne Jazz festival, Cork JF, Yoshi's (San Francisco), Zaragoza JF, Barcelona. and many many others.
3 records have been recently released.
Gently Disturbed is this trio's first record. The album has recieved rave reviews all over the world and has been top selling in a few countries.
"Sensitive Hours" was released in Israel on August and have been top selling there to. The new Avishai Cohen album "Aurora" is released under Blue note records!
Shai also studied Indian music and tabla playing from the Sarud master Sanjey Kumar Sharma.