"One of the West Coast's best kept secrets" "She not only understands 'swing,' she infuses it into every composition, every lyric, and particularly into her third recording, "After the Rain" - Andrea Canter, JazzPolice.com
"A hard-swinging, inventive pianist" "She prefers to describe herself as a jazz pianist who also sings, but the truth is that Schell handles both those hyphenates with plenty of style, imagination and grace" - Don Heckman (The International Review of Music)
"Pianist Gaea Schell has long been a local favorite, a talented pianist and a personable vocalist who has her own fresh phrasing" - Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene review for new release "After the Rain"
"Subtle romanticism" with a "distinctive, swinging touch" are words that come to mind when describing jazz pianist Gaea Schell. Accomplished and versatile, she - as drummer Albert 'Tootie' Heath says, "plays the heck out of the piano with them small hands".
Known among her peers for swinging every note, subtle phrasing, and honest lyrical writing, this West Coast-based pianist/composer/vocalist (and flautist) is a native of western Canada
where she grew up playing music from an early
age. When pursuit of a classical harp degree led to
checking out Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly and Bill
Evans records in the school library, this inspired a move east and subsequent graduation from the jazz program at acclaimed McGill University in Montreal.
The real learning, however, came from playing on the bandstand with
respected elders who spent considerable time themselves playing with greats like Joe Henderson,
Wynton Kelly, Ella Fitzgerald. Gaea feels "it's so important to
listen and to experience and understand the tradition of this music".
A 1999 Canada Council for the Arts grant took Gaea to New York City
where she studied with internationally known pianist/composer Richie
Beirach. Gaea (maiden name 'Brant') is a cousin of classical composer Henry Brant (whom Benny Golson studied with)
Gaea recently made her California debut as a twice featured performer at the
San Jose Jazz Festival and has been performing professionally and internationally as a
pianist and recently vocalist for many years in
diverse contexts. Her experience includes everything from trio to
quartet to orchestral performance. Notable
artists she has played with as a sideperson include Nancy King, John Stowell, Albert
'Tootie' Heath, Clare Fischer Big Band, Tony Dumas, PJ Perry, Bobby Watson, Bob Sheppard, Dan Faehnle
(guitarist with Diana Krall), Earl Palmer and Gilbert Castellanos (member
of the Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra).
Steadfast swing and elegance of expression - trademarks of Gaea
Schell's music - guarantee her ability to engage her listeners.
COOL UPCOMING EVENTS:
Gaea is in-demand as a sideperson, also available duo with upright bass, trio or quartet or sideperson
for: overseas, festivals, clubs, hotels, private events... also available as a producer, arranger, composer and instructor (piano, flute, voice). Gaea only performs for reasonable compensation and does not support any venue or individual who does not treat the artist well. For booking or other info, Gaea can be reached
at: (323) 828-4106, firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the contact page.