Since his arrival to New York in 2004, Gilad Hekselman has been earning a reputation as one of the most promising guitarists in New York. In only three years this native Israeli has shared the stage with many top names from the New York jazz scene including Gretchen Parlato, Chris Potter, Greg Hutchinson, Reuben Rogers, Ari Hoenig, Joel Frahm, Joe Martin, Jonathan Blake, Anat Cohen, Jason Lindner, Avishai Cohen, Joe Cohn, Omer Avital, Mark Ferber, Kendrick Scott, Matt Brewer, Hans Glawischnig, Eric McPhearson and François Moutin. He has played the Blue Note, The Jazz Gallery, Smalls, 55 Bar, Dizzy's Club, Minton's Playhouse, Fat Cat and toured in Switzerland, Norway, Spain, and Israel. Gilad is the Winner of the 2005 Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition. A string of performance dates followed that achievement in 2006, highlighted by the Gibson Les Paul guitar he received from Claude Nobs: he opened for guitar legend Paco De Lucia at the Montreux Jazz Festival, performed at the IAJE conference in New York, at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola - Jazz at Lincoln Center. Gilad's debut album SplitLife released by Smalls Records in the summer of 2006 and featuring bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ari Hoenig, received rave reviews from the press. Born in Israel in 1983, Gilad studied classical piano from age six to nine before going on to guitar and from age 12 to 14 he was performing regularly with the band of a weekly children's television show. At 15 he entered the Thelma Yellin School of Arts, graduating with Excellence from the Jazz Department at 18. Gilad is a recipient of the America Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship for studies abroad.