Gilad Hekselman

Gilad Hekselman

Electric Guitar icon Electric Guitar

Age Icon

40 age

Birthday Icon

February 3, 1983 Birthday

Birthplace Icon

Kfar Saba, Isreal Birthplace

Shows Icon



Israeli-born Gilad Hekselman is a jazz guitarist who began his career in New York in the mid-2000s. After moving to New York in the mid-2000s to study at the New School, Hekselman quickly made a name for himself, releasing his debut album in 2006 and going on to release 10 albums as a leader. He has collaborated with some of the most respected and well-known musicians in jazz, including Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Fred Hersch, Gretchen Parlato, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, and Esperanza Spalding. In 2022, he released "Far Star," a pandemic-developed album featuring him not not only guitar but also on keyboards, bass, whistle, tambourine, body percussion and voice.


Gilad Hekselman plays the song "Belle" on the compilation album "Disney Jazz Vol 1: Everybody Wants to be a Cat." Gilad Hekselman was picked as a Rising Star in DownBeat Magazine in 2017. In 2018 In 2018 Gilad Hekselman performed at The Kennedy Center as part of Pat Metheny's NEA Award ceremony.

Early Life

Gilad Hekselman was born in 1983 just outside of Tel Aviv, Israel. He began studying classical piano at age 6 and switched to the guitar a few years later. A gifted player from a young age, by 12 he was performing regularly as part of the house band for a weekly children's television show. Although initially drawn to prog rock/fusion and inspired by artists such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, Hekselman developed an interest in jazz while a student at the Thelma Yellin School of Arts. In 2004 he received the America - Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship, which he used to attend The New School in New York. While still in school, he won the 2005 Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition and released his debut album, "Splitlife" a year later. By the time he graduated with his BFA in 2008 Hekselman was well established in the New York City jazz scene.