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Badi Assad

ARTIST: Badi Assad


GENRE: Exploratory Music, MPB, Acoustic, Jazz, World Music

ABOUT: Badi was born in São João da Boa Vista (SP) and raised in Rio de Janeiro. Sister of the guitar players “Duo Assad”. Badi wanted to follow in her brothers footsteps, but she learned piano first, only starting to seriously study guitar at age 14. A year later, she mastered the instrument and went onstage participating in and winning national and international competitions.

Badi won international recognition by combining her talents as a singer, guitar player and vocal juggler (simultaneously producing different vocal sounds), her recognized technical abilities and unquenchable thirst for innovation in her guitar playing made her one of the most innovative artists of all time, maintaining a growing group of loyal fans, critics and fellow musicians worldwide. On stage, Badi Assad reveals a complete and virtuoso artist. An enchanting diva, she sings, plays guitar, dances and transforms her own body in percussion – all at the same time!

With 11 CDs released around the world and many awards won (the latest CD, Wonderland, was considered among the best albums of the year by BBC (UK) one of the 100 best albums of the year and the 27th-ranked featured, Badi was elected one of the best guitarists in the world by U.S. magazine Guitar Player. She has worked with artists such as Bob McFerrin, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah McLaughlin, Seu Jorge, Naná Vasconcelos and Toquinho among many others and performed in some of the most prestigious international festivals such as Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland) and theaters as L’Opera de Paris, Metropolitan Museum (New York), Palais de Beaux-Art (Brussels), The Greek Theater (Los Angeles), Sala São Paulo and Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro. Badi represented Brazil in the acclaimed FarmAid and Lilith Fair (USA) and had her song “Waves” on the soundtrack of the movie “It runs in the family.”

In 2010, to celebrate her 20 year career, Badi released a commemorative DVD “Badi Assad”. In the same year she was the protagonist of a contemporary opera “Opera of Stones”, directed by Denise Milan and Lee Breuer (Mabou Mines).

In 2012 Badi went to India, where she represented Brazil at the IV BRICS Summit, an event that brings together the major emerging economies of the world. She also performed with the Ballet Teatro Castro Alves in their native Salvador, BA as well as at the Teatro Municipal de São Paulo and at the prestigious Bienalle of Venice, in a live performance of her 2005 album “Verde”, choreographed by Henrique Rodovalho, for the dance company.

Badi Assad presents “Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas” (CD, Quatro Ventos, 2012)
Her highly expected 11th album brings novelties not only in the music and arrangements

Badi Assad has enjoyed 20 years of a fantastic international career as her very unique style is a blend of world music, flamenco guitar with Brazillian and percussion vocal underpinnings – and extraordinary combination of ability. Her performances have thrilled audiences all over the world with her passionate combination of voice and guitars. In 2012, the singer, songwriter and guitar player presents her 11th album “Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas”, with original songs and arrangements. Badi has had a life changing time – and she brings her soul that is far renewed by moments of change and personal experiences in the past few years.

The new album comes nearly five years after her last release, not counting the DVD commemorating her 20 years of career (released 2010). The explanation for this lapse comes in the artist’s own words: “Where have I been? My last CD, “Wonderland”, was released in 2006. The big reason for my disappearance was because, in 2007, the most amazing creation of my life happened: the birth of my beloved daughter Sofia. That’s when I decided to leave the big city and devote myself fully to the amazing adventure that is motherhood… And in the silence of the countryside I started to compose like crazy! It was a really creative and inspiring moment.”

In this process, Badi composed lots of other new material including numerous songs for her daughter (which will become a disc for children soon!). Inspired in her memories written in letters and in new experiences, “Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas” is Badi’s first totally original album and is released independently and run entirely by the artist through her own label Quatro Ventos.

For the repertoire, acoustic/electronic compositions with distinguished melodies and intense lyrics, everyday and existential, overflows of life, art, love and a few other manias…

This new album mixes a bit of old adventures (and mismatched meetings) with the latest like maternity as a result of a new love and delicious new manias: how to love and seek ones own balance of wanting the new. It also speaks about addictions like working hard or dependent relationships. This craze for love. Yes, because love is also chronic, in the literal sense of the word: long term, what happens repeatedly and often.

“Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas” was produced by percussionist Guilherme Kastrup and multi-instrumentalist Márcio Arantes, both playing alongside guests like Ricardo Herz and Dimos Goudaroulis. Badi sings, plays guitar on all tracks and in addition to her own songs, brings a partnership with Pedro Luís, in the lyrics of “Saudade Verdade Sorte”.

Renewed, Badi Assad also preserves the original essence of her work. With one foot in the city, the other in the woods, full of love… and other… chronic manias…

To produce “Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas” someone was needed to translate this ‘new’ artist to a more rhythmic style, more folk-pop and at times “heavier”. Guilherme Kastrup alongside Marcio Arantes, as a third element, completed the foundation for the production of the album and co-wrote the arrangements. The trio first did some shows in São Paulo to warm up the repertoire on stage before entering the studio. Thus, the recording process was very dynamic, organic and natural.

Special guests
World renowned Greek cellist and researcher living in Brazil, Dimos Goudaroulis (Bravo Award-Prime Culture) participates in “Eu vim daquele lugar” and “Mar Egeu”. Violinist, composer and arranger Ricardo Herz is in “Noite de São João” and “Mulheres e Cunhantãs” and Webster Santos brings his rhythmic guitar in “Ultraleve”. The horn section is composed of Emiliano Sampaio, Jorge Cirillo, Marcelo Valezi, Ivan Andrade and Alessandro Ribeiro. In the arrangements for guitar, the great talent of her brother Sergio Assad, and the other Brazilian guitarists Swami Jr and Chico Saraiva.

Production and Costume Design
Following the concept “one foot in the city, another in the woods’, which says a lot about the current life of Badi, the photo shoot for the album took place in the ruins near the waterfall Cascata das Antas, in Poços de Caldas, Brazil by Alfredo Nagib. The costume was created by the brazilian fashion designer Ronaldo Fraga who also mixed these elements in his work. The color magenta used in the artwork resembles the striking central element of all, love.


“Badi Assad redefines solo (guitar) performance! Revelatory, a brilliant display of innovation, imagination, and skill… almost hypnotically compelling!” (Los Angeles Times)

“Assad is known internationally as an ace acoustic guitarist. She is also a singer – but saying amplifying “also a singer” is tantamount to saying “Charles Mingus also played piano” or “Sinatra was also known as an actor”. Her voice is an instrument – incredibly flexible, capable of soaring a la Joni Mitchell and Flora Purim and getting sonorous & velvety like Cassandra Wilson and Tim Buckley.” (Jazz Review)

“At the Clarice Smith Performing, Assad proved she is much more than a flower child. The 39 year old with a huge shock of a curly black hair is also a stunning finger style guitarist and an eccentric singer in the Bobby McFerrin mold.” (Washington Post)

“Guitar greatness must be genetic. Want a proof? Check out Badi Assad, kid sister of Sergio and Odair Assad. This is serious stuff, played with complete command and vibrating musicianship. Add her stunning, vocals and mouth percussion, and the result is musical magic.” (Acoustic Guitar)

“On other impressive debut album, the young and restless guitarist Assad, like Powell, taps right into that fertile cross-musical terrain where classical, folk and jazz sonorities meet on Brazilian soil.” (Down Beat)

“Guitar-playing super smoothie Assad popularized Brazilian traditional and pop forms in her human show. She sings. She plucks the strings with a virtuosity steeped in classical and jazz training. And she busts out with lots of percussive tricks, using her own body as rhythmic source.” (Time Out)

“While receiving high accolades for her quick-fingered guitar work, Brazil’s Badi Assad is equally dangerous behind the microphone.” (New Times)


– “Cantos de Casa” (CD, Quatro Ventos, 2014)
– “Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas / Between Love and Luck” (CD, Quatro Ventos, 2012; USA: 2013; Europe: 2014)
– “Badi Assad” (DVD, Biscoito Fino, 2010)
– “The Best of Badi” (Chesky Records, 2006)
– “Wonderland” (eDGe music/Universal, 2006)
– “Verde” (eDGe music/Universal, 2004)
– “Dança das Ondas” (GHA, 2003)
– “Three guitars” (Chesky Records, 2003)
– “Nowhere” (Independent release, 2003)
– “Chameleon” (PolyGram, 1998)
– “Echoes of Brazil” (Chesky Records, 1997)
– “Rhythms” (Chesky Records, 1995)
– “Solo” (Chesky Records, 1994)
– “Dança dos Tons” (LP, Crescente Produções, 1989)




– Jazz Fest Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (2012)
– London Guitar Festival, London, UK (2012)
– North East Guitar Festival, Gateshead, UK (2012)
– Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia (2012)
– Savoy Theatre, Helsinki, Finland (2012)
– Grand Casino, Basel, Switzerland (2012)
– Bath International Guitar Festival, Bath, UK (2012)
– Masala Festival, Hannover, Germany (2012)
– Stadhuis-Raadzaal, Hasselt, Belgium (2011)
– De Centrale, Gent, Belgium (2011)
– Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2011)
– Weltmusikfestival, Murnau, Germany (2011)
– Uppsala VIII International Guitar Festival Stora Salen, Uppsala, Sweden (2011)
– Festival Latino-Americano, Doha, Emirates (2011)
– Brasil Festival, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2011)
– Wolf Ferrari Haus, Ottobrunn, Germany (2011)
– Les Internationales de la Guitare, Théâtre Jacques Coeur, Montpelier, France (2009)
– Jena Festival, Jena, Germany (2009)
– Gevaliasalen, Gavle, Sweden (2008)
– Sodra Theater, Stockholm, Sweden (2008)
– Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden (2008)
– Jeriko, Malmo, Sweden (2008)
– Rasa, Utrecht, Netherlands (2008)
– De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2008)
– Zuiderpershuis, Antwerpen, Belgium (2008)
– London Jazz Festival, London, UK (2006)
– Zuidplein, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2006)
– Wespennest, Neustadt/Weinstr, Germany (2006)
– Kesselhaus, Berlin, Germany (2006)
– Philharmonie, Essen, Germany (2006)
– Jazztage, Leverkusen, Germany (2006)
– Culturgest, Lisboa, Portugal (2006)
– Kaiserslaughtern, Germany (2006)
– Neue Welt, Ingolstadt, Germany (2006)
– Dinkelskiel Auditorium, Stanford, CA, USA (2006)
– Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA, USA (2006)
– Florence Gould Theatre, San Francisco, CA, USA (2006)
– John G. Shedd Institute, Eugene, OR, USA (2006)
– Johnny D’s, Boston, USA (2006)
– Miami Performing Arts Center, Miami, FL, USA (2006)
– Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, AR, USA (2006)
– Lula Lounge, Toronto, Canada (2006)
– Makor, New York, NY, USA (2006)
– Hot House, Chicago, USA (2006)
– Flagey studio 4, Brussels, Belgium (2006)
– Eisenach, Germany (with Chico Cesar) (2006)
– POPKOMM, Berlin, Germany (2006)
– SESC Santana, São Paulo, Brazil (2006)
– Western Arts Alliance, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2006)
– “Horizonte” Festival, Koblenz, Germany (2006)
– Edenkoben, Germany (2006)
– Centralstation, Darmstadt, Germany (2006)
– Nurtingen, Germany (2006)
– Freudenhaus, Bregenz, Austria (2006)
– Vienna Jazz Festival, Vienna, Austria (2006)
– North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2006)
– International Guitar Festival, Naxos, Greece (2006)
– “Global Village” Festival, Hannover, Germany (2006)
– Ulm, Germany (2006)
– Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, Canada (2006)
– One World Theatre, Austin, TX, USA (2006)
– Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA, USA (2006)
– Rochester Jazz Festival, Rochester, NY, USA (2006)




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