"One of the West Coast's best kept secrets" - Andrea Canter, JazzPolice.com
"A hard-swinging, inventive pianist" "She prefers to describe herself as a jazz pianist who also sings, but Schell handles both those hyphenates with plenty of style, imagination and grace" - Don Heckman (The International Review of Music)
(Scroll down and see the "Listen" page for more compositions, videos)
"Subtle romanticism" with a "distinctive, swinging touch" are words used to describe Gaea Schell. Accomplished and versatile, she - as drummer Albert 'Tootie' Heath has said, "plays the heck out of the piano with them small hands".
Known among her peers for swinging eighth notes, subtle phrasing and contemplative writing, Gaea was recently compared by jazz aficionados to Monty Alexander (piano), and Holly Hofmann (flute). This Bay area based pianist/composer/flutist/vocalist is a native of Alberta, Canada,
where she grew up playing music from an early
age. Recorder lessons at age 6 with family friend, the late San Francisco based drummer Eddie Marshall, was one of her first musical ventures. Pursuit of a classical harp degree led to
checking out Oscar Peterson and Bill
Evans records in the school library, inspiring a move East (after declining a Berklee scholarship) 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 such as Joe Henderson,
Wynton Kelly, Ella Fitzgerald. Gaea feels "it's so important to
listen, experience, and understand the tradition of this music".
An early career Canada Council for the Arts grant took Gaea to New York
where she studied with internationally known pianist/composer Richie
Beirach. Gaea (maiden name 'Brant') is a cousin of late classical composer Henry Brant (favorite composer Benny Golson a protege)
Gaea made her California debut as a twice featured performer at the
San Jose Jazz Festival and has been performing professionally and internationally in
diverse contexts. Her experience includes everything from teaching elementary school flute choirs, trio to
quartet to orchestral performance. Notable
artists she has shared the stage with (or played for) include Nancy King, John Stowell, Albert
'Tootie' Heath, Clare Fischer Big Band, PJ Perry, Marcus Shelby, Kellye Gray, Bobby Watson, Dan Faehnle
(former guitarist with Diana Krall), Vince Lateano, Richie Cole, John Wiitala, Noel Jewkes, Tony Bennett and Gilbert Castellanos.
Steadfast groove and elegance of expression - trademarks of Gaea
Schell's music - guarantee her ability to engage listeners.
Gaea is in-demand as a sideperson; also available on flute/piano with her Latin quartet Cuarteto de Luna Nueva, duo with upright bass, trio or quartet for overseas, festivals, hotels, events... also available as a producer, arranger, composer and instructor. Gaea only performs for reasonable compensation and does not support any venue or individual who does not treat the artist well. Gaea also reserves the right to send suitable substitutes in case of emergency or particularly lucrative opportunity. For booking or other info, Gaea can be reached
at: (323) 828-4106 / firstname.lastname@example.org