Short Bio

Short Bio

Long Bio

Short Bio

Pull Quotes

“An exciting new voice!”
– Chick Corea, Grammy Award-winning artist

“Is there anyone in the world who can play the cello like this?”
– Brian Arsenault, The International Review Of Music

“A uniquely gifted artist.”

“Outstanding artistry and attention to detail.”
– LA Weekly

“Virtuosic and passionate performance.”
– Lexington Herald Leader

Cool…Jacob’s jazz voice is very intelligent and mature.”
– Harry Scorzo, jazz violin virtuoso (Bongo Logic)

“Expansive harmonic language/incredible fluiduity.”
– Matt Turner, jazz cello virtouso

– Antonio Lysy, cello soloist and professor of music at UCLA

“Chops to burn, pyrotechnic vision, Szekely sets the cello on fire.”
– Michael Fitzpatrick, recipient of the Prince Charles Award

“A killer project! Spectacular phrasing and solos, and the compositions rock!”
-Charlie Bisharat, Grammy Award-winning violinist/studio legend

“Deeply Inspiring, Fearless, imaginative… and funky.”
-Peter Jacobson, Grammy Award-winning cellist (Quetzal)

“Superb writing and musicianship.”
-Paul Colleti, internationally renowned viola virtuoso

“Szekely’s jazz improvisations deftly soar above a tightly grooving matrix of keyboards and drums. An auspicious debut.”
– Mark Summer (TISQ)

“There is nothing else like it out there.”
– Bear McCreary, Emmy Award-winning composer & musician (Da Vinci’s Demons, The Walking Dead)

“A strikingly original virtuoso cello statement. Beautifully performed and uniquely arranged.”
– Geddy Lee (Rush)

“His mixture of rock and post-bop is striking… Resonates as it charms.”
– James Crel, The Strad

“A refreshing and unique approach to jazz on a bowed instrument. Jacob has honed his free-form technique to the point that it feels effortless and inspired. I also love how he varies the tone, vibrato and texture of the cello as the tunes progress – something that is typically missing in modern string playing.”
– David Campbell, violist/arranger (Muse, McCartney, U2, Beck)


“Total badass!!! This is the first recording I’ve heard that makes a convincing case for the cello as leader in a hard-hitting modern jazz setting.”
– Eugene Friesen, cello pioneer ad professor at the Berklee School of Music

“Cellist Jacob Szekely has built a career on defying expectations of what his chosen instrument is capable of. Cultivating a sound he calls ‘rock chamber jazz,’ the classically trained Brooklyn native and USC grad mixes all those styles and more into the self-titled debut album from his Jacob Szekely Trio. In Szekely’s dexterous hands, the cello acts as both lead and rhythm instrument, fluttering through Coltrane-like sheets of sound on jazzy tracks such as ‘Corner Song’ and mimicking an upright bass behind Josh Nelson’s gorgeous piano licks on ‘300 Years.’”
– Andy Hermann, LA Weekly

“What started with 1970s pioneers like Abdul Wadud, Hank Roberts, Diedre Murray, Akua Dixon, and later Turtle Island String Quartet’s Mark Summer has turned into a veritable movement, and no one is doing more to open up possibilities for cello players than Jacob Szekely.”
– Berkleyside

“In his first outing as a leader, Szekely has created a unique musical tapestry that incorporates the richness of jazz improvisation, the structure of classical music and the edginess of rock into its own alchemy which Szekely calls rock chamber jazz.”
– Do The Bay (San Francisco)

“A virtuoso who places as much emphasis on the forms he’s created, as his transformative cello solos. Szekely can soar lyrically on an arco passage that would make for a thrilling tenor saxophone cadenza, channel Indian sonorities or thread his way through a pointillist thicket of rhythmic subtleties. He can trade percussive volleys with [Christopher] Aliss (just watch how the pair transforms Soundgarden’s ‘Spoonman’) and dialogue with [Josh] Nelson in the intuitive way that pianist Bill Evans could with bassist Scott LaFaro.

While cellist Jacob Szekely embraces his instrument as the lead voice in non-traditional settings, he’s consciously avoided the gimmickry often associated with such efforts. He doesn’t do anything as predictable as spit out transcriptions of Hendrix and Coltrane solos. Instead, he’s internalized their improvisational strategies and flourishes, developing a vernacular unique to the cello. In doing so, he has added another dialect to the instrument’s accepted range of expression.”
– Kirk Silsbee, LA Weekly

“Fun and rocking. Nelson is his usual tasteful delight, doing keyboard work on the dreamy ‘Project 7’ and the chamber toned “Project 7.” Clever little bumps on ‘Corner Song’ and melodicisms on ‘300 Years’ make this an intimately swinging delight.
– George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

“Cellists often get a bad rap, almost invisible in the shadows of so many violinists obnoxiously clamoring for attention… There are a unique few cellists whose voices demand a hearing, and Jacob Szekely is definitely one.”
– Christian Howes, internationally renowned jazz violinist

“Far from resorting to tricks, Jacob’s playing, teaching, composing, and creative enterprises of all sorts demonstrate a long and passionate search for the deepest expression of his unique sound, that of a true artist who happens to be a cellist. Check him out. You will be amazed.”
– Christian Howes, internationally renowned jazz violinist

“JACOB SZEKELY/JS 3: That cat that’s reinventing the language of cello has already played everything with everybody but now he’s charting his own course bringing his vision of rock chamber jazz to the fore. Certainly, it’s sitting down music but it’s as far away from arts council music as you can get. With chops that have touched upon all kinds of music being front and center, this restless creative type feeds it all back showing where he’s been, what he can do and how easy it is to wrap your ears around his little finger. Smoking stuff that starts out in jazz and winds up in the land of anybody’s guess. One seriously wild ride well worth taking.”
– Midwest Record Review