Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Gaea Schell
SF Bay area based pianist, composer, flutist and vocalist
Known among her peers for swinging eighth notes, subtle phrasing and contemplative writing, SF Bay area based pianist, composer, flutist (and vocalist) Gaea Schell is originally from 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 with distinction 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 City where she studied with internationally known pianist/composer Richie Beirach. Other awards include grants through Chamber Music America, South Arts Jazz Road, Intermusic SF, the Giacomo Puccini Opera scholarship from Accademia Europea di Firenze, and the Composer's Fellowship Award at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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. More recently, she has been found playing flute with Cuban son groups. Her experience includes everything from teaching elementary school flute choirs, trio to quartet to orchestral performance. Notable artists she has shared the stage with 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), Vibrason, Vince Lateano, Richie Cole, John Wiitala, and Gilbert Castellanos.

Steadfast groove and elegance of expression - trademarks of Gaea Schell's music - guarantee her ability to engage listeners.