The Blue Note Emerging ArtistSeries is designed to give young up and coming musicians the opportunity to perform at the Blue Note as an opening act for our jazz legends. The opening act performance will go from 6:30 - 7:30PM and will provide access to Roy Haynes's's 8:00PM set at no additional cost.
Beka Gochiashvili was born in Tbilisi, Georgia on March 11, 1996. He was just two and half years old, barely reaching his upright piano claviature, when he suddenly surprised his father by playing some of Scott Joplin’s Ragtime tunes he heard on radio. Then at age 4 he watched Standards II by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette - the video recording that triggered his devotion and passion for this sophisticated trio and their performance style.
By age five, Beka was playing several piano compositions already. In 2002 Valeri, his father, a musician himself, took him to Zurab Ramishvili, the most prominent jazz piano professor in Georgia. The child’s ability to play a few complicated jazz compositions impressed him. Notwithstanding, he advised them to enroll Beka in classical music classes at a school headed by Tengiz Chitaishvili.
By age nine, Beka began jazz studies under the direction of Zurab Ramishvili. A year later, he was already playing at various jazz clubs in Tbilisi.
In 2007, Beka participated in Saulkrasti Jazz Festival in Latvia, where his performance skills were highly assessed by Lenny White and Victor Bailey. In the same year he played at the 10th International Festival “Georgians Play Jazz” held in Grand Hall of Tbilisi State Conservatory.
In April 2008, the US Embassy in Tbilisi hosted two State Department sponsored cultural envoys – jazz pianist Dan Tepfer and Joel Harrison, Artistic Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Pianists Association, who performed with Beka. Both of them highly praised Beka’s unique talent.
“Beka is one of the best jazz pianists I’ve heard anywhere,” said Condloleezza Rice, then Secretary of State and an accomplished pianist herself, in her remarks at the conclusion of her visit to Georgia in July 2008.
By the efforts of Ms. Rice, Mr. Harrison and John Teft, former US Ambassador in Georgia, Beka and Mr. Ramishvili travelled to New York in 2008 to participate in auditions at the Juilliard School and at the Manhattan School of Music. Not surprisingly, Beka was accepted in both schools.
In July 2009 with the support of Nikoloz Rurua, then Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and great jazz aficionado, Beka travelled to participate in the prestigious Bosendorfer Solo Jazz Piano competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, where he was awarded 1st prize. He is the youngest participant of this highly acclaimed annual festival.
Numerous diplomas were awarded to Beka, including diploma for participation in Georgian-German Festival for Young Musicians-Performers Tbilisi-2003, diploma for participation in a concert (Children’s Album) dedicated to 165th anniversary of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, diploma for participation in an international festival held in Germany in 2004.
In 2009, the Development and Reforms Fund of Georgia and in 2010, 2011 and 2012 Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia awarded Beka a full scholarship for studies at the pre-college division of the Juilliard School, where he takes jazz piano classes with Frank Kimbrough. In addition he takes private piano classes with Fred Hersch and Danilo Perez.
In the Fall of 2009 Gianni Valente, the owner of Birdland, one of the most famous jazz clubs, saw Beka’s performance at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party and he and Jim decided to schedule him for a concert. Beka's successful debut concert in the USA, at Birdland in March 2010 enabled him to perform later at various famous clubs and concert halls such are Rialto Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA, Creole, New York, NY, Birdland again in June 2010, New York, NY, Tbilisi State Conservatory, Tbilisi, Georgia and in 2010, 2011 and 2012 at Black Sea Jazz Festival, Batumi, Georgia.
In May 2010 Guram Shalutashvili and Ekaterine Shvelidze awarded Beka with $5,000 grant.
As a member of the band Montreux on the Road, Beka performed at Wien and Montreux Jazz Festivals and St. Moritz Art Masters Series in the summer and early fall of 2010.
In September 2011 Beka was selected as a semifinalist of the Monk Piano Competition, where his performance was highly praised by the members of the jury, which included Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez, Jason Moran, Renee Rosnes, Ellis Marsalis and Wayne Shorter.
In December 2011 Beka had a highly successful show at Birdland with Buster Williams, Lenny White, Darren Barrett and Jaleel Shaw.
In March 2012 Beka and Chick Corea recorded duo/solo album, which will be released in a near future.
March through September 2012 Beka recorded and released his debut album titled BEKA Gochiashvili, which was produced by Lenny White by the grant from Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. Other producers of this album are Nicolos Rurua for Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, and Guram Shalutashvili and George Shengelaia for Exitus Entertainment LLC.
131 W. 3rd St
New York, NY 10012