Gilad Hekselman is one of the leading voices in jazz guitar. Only a few years after his arrival to NY in 2004, this native Israeli was already sharing stages with some of the greatest artists in the New York City jazz scene 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.
In May 2019, Hekselman featured his quartet at the legendary NYC venue The Village Vanguard. He has also been playing all other major jazz clubs in New York City, including the Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club and Smalls. He is constantly touring world-wide and has played most noteworthy jazz festivals and venues including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal & SFJazz to name a few.
Hekselman has released 9 critically-acclaimed records as a band-leader, many of which have made it into “best of the year” lists on NY Times, Downbeat Magazine, Amazon, All About Jazz and many other publications. His 10th record, “Far Star”, was released on Edition Records in May 2022.
Gilad is the recipient of several prestigious awards and recognitions. In 2017, Gilad placed first in the “Rising Star” category of Downbeat Magazine. That same year, he won the 7 Virtual Jazz Club international competition 2017. In 2018 Gilad was asked by guitar legend Pat Metheny to perform as part of his NEA Award ceremony at The Kennedy Center, alongside some of Metheny’s other favorite young guitar players. Gilad is also the winner of the 2005 Gibson 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 his prolific recording career in 2006 with the release of his debut album, “SplitLife” (Smalls Records), recorded with bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ari Hoenig. It received rave reviews from the press as did his second album, “Words Unspoken” (LateSet Records), recorded and released in 2008 with Joe Martin, drummer Marcus Gilmore and tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm.
I was born 1959 in Gothenburg, Sweden. I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa, caught the early fusion years of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever and Weather Report, eventually moving on to the acoustic jazz of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. My introduction to clean, undistorted guitar was through the albums of George Benson and Pat Martino, especially ”Bad Benson” and ”Consciousness”. I studied classical piano at the Gothenburg Conservatory for a few years before becoming a professional touring guitarist, mostly with the swedish fusion group ”Hawk On Flight”. I also did some tours with Bob Berg and Lee Konitz before moving to Oslo in 1986. I joined the norwegian hard rock group ”Sons Of Angels” 1989-1991 (I’m also a sucker for Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen), and when it folded I started the organ-based souljazz group ”The Real Thing”, which has been the main part of my career – back to the George Benson/Pat Martino roots! Other projects include the nonet ”Sharp Nine”, ”Staffan William-Olsson Trio”, three years with the icelandic group ”Mezzoforte” and fourteen years with legendary singer Karin Krog.
Lots of students through the years; Lage Lund probably being the most famous. I’m a firm believer that there isn’t a correct way to play the guitar, but you should be aware of the options and make an informed choice. Have fun, don’t hurt yourself and don’t play anything you can’t sing. Time and tone, maybe the two most important aspects of music, are neglected in music education because they are hard to write books about.
A native of Serbia, Miroslav Mirosavljev aka Mickylee has found his home in Vienna Austria, where he has been active in the music scene for many years now.
After getting his Master of Arts Degree in Jazz Guitar and Jazz Composition at the world-known University for Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, where he studied with Guido Jeszenszky, Karl Ratzer, and Karlheinz Czadek, Mickylee concentrated mostly on playing and teaching. However, his portfolio also includes composing music for theater and motion pictures. During his long collaboration with Virtual Sheet Music, he arranged many works for solo guitar as well as other ensembles, such as string quartets, brass quartets, etc.
In 2001, Mickylee won the 1st prize at the International Big Band Composition Contest in Barga, Italy. He regularly performs in Austria and all across Europe but has also played concerts in North America, Africa, and Asia. On his Youtube Channel, Mickylee has around 400 videos, mostly due to his 2013 project called “Daily Solo”, where he posted a video a day for a whole year.
His solo album “deComposing Cats” ensured him a place among the top Jazz/Fusion guitar players in this part of the world. He is also a member of a Viennese Fusion/Funk band Inspirational Corner, with which he recorded an album called “Chameleon Lab Explosion”. “In the Wheel” is the name of the album he recorded with acoustic guitar player Peter Mayer. In his most recent collaboration with renowned guitar players John Stowell and Ulf Bandgren, Mickylee recorded an album called “Portuguese Blue”, which is going to be published under “Quinton Records” label.
Besides teaching privately and in the music school in Brunn am Gebirge, Mickylee also gives guitar lectures at the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University Vienna, where he also works as a Dean of Studies.