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Shay Tochner

Musical Biography

Shay, hosting "5 Shamrocks" in Tel Aviv Folk Club

Shay Tochner with Tom Paxton

Shay Tochner is an accomplished guitar, five string banjo and harmonica player, spent many years specializing in most of the different kinds of folk, ethnic and country music, including music from all parts of the British Isles, Irish, English and mainly Scottish.

Shay started playing music at the age of 6 (recorder) and got his first guitar at the age of 10 and it became his main instrument. In addition to the guitar, still being very young, Shay learnt to play the harmonica from his uncle Haim who was one of the best and most accomplished players of this instrument at this time. Shay started playing music professionally at the age of 18 accompanying many famous singers, supporting himself by playing music while graduating in Computer Science.

For over 20 years, Shay played and recorded as a founding member of the legendary band “The Taverners,” as well as with a long list of acclaimed artists, among them Tom Paxton, Shuli Natan, Suzy Miller, Ruhama Raz, Jonathan Miller, Jill Rogoff, Sandy Cash, Dana Halevi, "Reshit" Jewish Music Ensemble, "jug of Punch" and many others.

As a soloist, Shay performed many years in a wide range of folk clubs in London and Edinburgh. For some years, he was one of the house resident performers in the renowned London folk cellar, “Bunjie’s”.

Since the first year of Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival until today, Shay played every year with various combinations. His morning session "Shay and Friends" always featured the best of the artists that performed in the festival every year and became an "institute".

Shay plays now as a soloist, with the Irish Traditional Band "Celtic Synergy", with the Country/Folk band "Country Roads", as an accompanist of many various singers in the folk/country scene, and as a guest performer with many mainstream and Indie Israeli singers and almost all of the Irish, Scottish, folk and country bands in Israel, enhancing them with his accoustic guitar unique picking, 5 string banjo playing and his excellent "first position" harmonica (moothie) skills.

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