w/ Tootie Heath

"One of the West Coast's best kept secrets" - Andrea Canter,

"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)
My Heart Stood Still, Gaea Schell piano/vocal (GS Trio, featuring Juilliard bound trumpeter Giveton Gelin)
After the Rain (comp. G. Schell) (GS quartet, featuring Chuck Manning)
Ledges (comp. G. Schell) (GS trio)
Lullaby of the Leaves, Gaea Schell, FLUTE (trio)
concert w/ saxophonist Kristen Strom "Nancy's Eyes"

(Scroll down and see the "Listen" page for more compositions, videos, clips)

Listen to a clip from a recent performance with Tootie Heath

"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".
After the Rain

Known among her peers for swinging every note, subtle phrasing and contemplative writing, Gaea was recently compared by jazz aficionados to Monty Alexander (piano), and Holly Hofmann (flute). This West Coast-based pianist/composer/singer/flutist 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 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".

A 1999 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 recently 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 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, Tony Dumas, PJ Perry, Marcus Shelby, Bobby Watson, Dan Faehnle (former guitarist with Diana Krall), Vince Lateano, John Wiitala, Noel Jewkes, Tony Bennett 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 listeners.


Gaea is in-demand as a sideperson; also available on flute with her Latin quartet , duo with upright bass, trio or quartet for overseas, festivals, clubs, 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,, or go to the contact page.

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