Gilad will bring his critically acclaimed NY trio for his debut show at Blue Alley, celebrating the release of his new record Life, at the Village Vanguard
Gilad Hekselman is one of the leading voices in jazz guitar. Born in Israel and based in New York, he tours globally as a bandleader, and has shared the stage with some of the greatest artists in jazz including Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Fred Hersch, Mark Turner, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Ballard, Ben Wendel, Gretchen Parlato, Ben Williams, Avishai Cohen, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Parks and Becca Stevens among many others.
Across eleven critically acclaimed albums, Gilad has built a rich discography noted both for his original compositions and captivating instrumental voice. In November 2023, he released his latest LP Trio Grande: Urban Myth in partnership with Will Vinson and Nate Wood. His next album, Life, at the Village Vanguard, is set for April 2024.
Gilad has also built an extensive recording resume as a guest artist and collaborator. Among his favorite credits, he can be heard on Walt Disney Records’ Everybody Wants To Be a Cat (2011). The album features versions of Disney songs played by a top-shelf lineup of musicians including Dave Brubeck, Joshua Redman, Esperanza Spalding, Diane Reeves, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Bad Plus and many other jazz legends.
Since his arrival in New York as a student in 2004, Gilad has become a fixture in the city’s jazz scene, conducting residencies and performing at legendary venues including the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Dizzy's, Smalls, and the Jazz Standard. In addition, he has played at renowned jazz festivals both in the U.S. and internationally, including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal, and SFJazz, to name a few.
Gilad is the recipient of multiple prestigious recognitions and awards. In 2018, he was asked by Pat Metheny to perform as part of the legendary guitarist’s NEA Award ceremony at The Kennedy Center. In 2017 and 2022, Gilad placed first in the Rising Star category of Downbeat Magazine. That same year, he won the 7 Virtual Jazz Club International Contest. In 2005, Gilad won theGibson Montreux International Guitar Competition, which led to a string of performances including opening for guitar legend Paco de Lucia with his trio at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006.
Gilad began studying classical piano at six years old and guitar at nine. As a young teenager, he performed regularly with the band on a weekly children's television show. He attended the prestigious Thelma Yellin School of Arts, graduating with excellence from the jazz department at eighteen. Gilad received the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship for studies abroad to attend The New School in New York, where he completed his BFA in 2008.