Biography

Romania-born Canadian Gia Ionesco is a keyboard virtuoso, composer, bandleader, and music educator. From classical to rock to jazz, the well-schooled Gia started his piano lesson when he was three years old, and had explored an extensive range of musical territories. At a very young age, he started his rock/Jazz journey and has been ever since enjoying its free spirit, tremendous versatility, and unlimited possibilities.

His high school group “Spectrum” and later “Pegasus” played already major jazz and rock festivals, while the next group with more jazz-influenced band “Om” gained national success very quickly. By the age of 18, Gia had received professional accreditation as a Piano Solo Virtuoso from the Romanian Ministry of Education. He followed renowned professors: Marius Popp, Richard Bartzer, and Anca Stephanesco. Gia has dual degrees in music, National University of Music Bucharest; and engineering, Polytechnic University of Bucharest.

In 1990, he moved to Israel, further his music studies at the famed Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, followed famed composer and piano virtuoso Vyacheslav Ganelin. He formed the popular fusion group “Changes” in Israel, featured Asaf Sirkis (Gary Husband Band) on drums and Gabi Meir on bass, with Gia playing 9 keyboards simultaneously, earning him nicknames such as “Spiderman” and “Romanian Spitfire”. Changes released a successful album ‘Changes’ from the Israeli “Jazzis” label.

1992 Gia immigrated to Canada; he started his school “Gia’s Music School” in 1999. The school gives out lessons to all age students, enjoys a sterling reputation in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Alongside being a music educator, Gia honed his compositional skills for a series of adventurous and acclaimed composition, 15 albums released under his own name and on his own label, “Terrace Update”. All CDs that showcased Ionesco’s eclecticism, drawing upon influences as diverse as rock, jazz, progressive fusion, classical, Middle Eastern, world  music, avant-garde and traditional indigenous Romanian forms.

2010, Ionesco formed the group “Gia & The Unpredictable Update” to fully flesh out his adventurous compositions. The band comprised with top notch Canadian musicians, Pat LaBarbera, Johnny Johnson, Levon Ichkhanian, Wilson Laurencin, Alan Hetherington, Pat Kilbride, Clifford Ojala, and Gia; and later with Reg Schwager, Bruce Cassidy, Alex Dean and many more… Unconventionally, the band played in various assembles, to perform Gia’s different music compositions. Gia & The Unpredictable Update has been performing at many Toronto venues.  Also, the past years toured China cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Suzhou, Shunde and Hong Kong.

Gia is currently working with renowned musicians for numerous projects with his own compositions. International cast that comprises:

– Jimmy Haslip,USA (bass), Mauro Pagani, Italy/USA (violin), Mino Cinelu, France/USA (percussion) , Johnny Johnson, Canada (saxophone) , Asaf Sirkis, Israel/UK (drums), Beledo, Uruguay/USA (guitar);

– Virgil Donati, Australia/USA (drums), Alex Machacek, Austria/USA (guitar), and Anthony Crawford, USA (bass);

– Chad Wackerman, USA (drums), and Dan Andrei Aldea, Romania (guitar/violin).

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