Amir-John Haddad was born in Freiburg Germany in 1975 and comes from a Colombian and Palestinian background. He was raised and educated in Germany and lived for a short while in Bogotá (Colombia). Since childhood he hasn’t stopped travelling and has been always in contact with music. His family environment taught him how to play music by ear. He learned music, his future language, by oral transmission and was only 7 years old when he officially started studying the Flamenco guitar after learning Arabic oud at home by the hand of his father and first teacher Rimon Haddad.
Amir started playing live at school venues when he was 7 years old and by the age of 12 he gave his first public concert on a “real” stage. At a very early age Amir was led to diverse music styles from South American folklore to classical music, classical Arabic and Oriental music over to African music, Flamenco music… as well as to western influences like Jazz, Rock, Funk, Pop, Metal, Fusion, etc. “When I was seven years old our TV stopped working and my parents didn’t replace it, so from that moment on I was raised without a TV at home and that was very important to my playing and to my innocent and creative approach to music!”
Years later in 1997 Amir decided to move further south to live and study guitar in one of the most important birthplaces of Flamenco, Jerez de la Frontera (Andalucía-Spain). As he says: “I left Germany with my guitar and a suitcase full of illusions & expectations! I wanted to learn this art form in a traditional way by oral transmission in the streets meeting the artists and make my experiences through living with the people and share many moments of “juerga” (Flamenco jam all night long)!” During his period in Andalucía he was a disciple of famous guitar maestros like Pepe Justicia and Enrique de Melchor. This experience has been very important for his career.
In 1998 Amir moved on to Madrid to find new frontiers and keep on growing professionally as a musician and find a place in the music scene, “I wanted to make a living out of what I liked the most! I couldn’t imagine myself in the future without playing my instrument!” He played in famous Flamenco Tablaos such as Las Carboneras, Café de Chinitas, Corral de la Pacheca, Casa Patas etc. It was in Madrid when Amir was invited to join and play with the legendary and famous Spanish World Music Band Radio Tarifa. Amir was the official oud, bouzouki and guitar player for almost ten years and made many world tours through a large number of countries and cities.
In 1999 he won the first prize for original musical composition at the national “Certamen de Coreografia de Danza Española y Flamenco” at the Teatro Albeniz in Madrid.
Since then he has had the opportunity to work, record and tour with various artists like:
Chambao, Radio Tarifa, Joaquín Ruiz, Caravana, Maestro Ciro, Eliseo Parra, Jorge Pardo, Tomasito, Carles Benavent, Navajita Plateá, Raimundo Amador, Miguel Flores Quirós “El Capullo de Jerez”, Melendi, María Dolores Pradera, Diego El Cigala, Miguel Poveda, Inmaculada Ortega, Pepe Justicia, Belén Fernández, Carmela Greco, José Luis Montón, Carmen París, Enrique de Melchor, Juan Parrilla, David Cereduela, Antonio Canales, Antonio Carrión, David Serva, Eva Durán, Peter Oteo, Hamsika Iyer, Alejandro Granados, Talegón de Córdoba, Juan Ogalla, Domingo Ortega, Olga Pericet, Carmina Cortés, Salva de María, Manuel Liñán, Marcos Flores, Manuel Palacín, Carmen Fernández, Tino di Geraldo, Joaquín Escudero, Manuel de la Malena, Luís de la Tota, Alfonso Losa, José Antonio Galicia “El Gali”, Teresa Nieto, Yrvis Méndez Raymond, Aziz Kuyateh, Evgeny Pimonenko, Geovany da Silveira, Cristian Miño, Tom Schlüter, Alejandra Gutty, Eduardo Dorda, Manuel de Lucena, Sebastián Rubio, Canal+, Susana Weich Shahak, Maher Sissoko, Jesús Torres, Jesús de Rosario, Toni Maya, Los Losada, Rocío Molina, Imran Khan, Leonor Moro, Ricardo Espinosa, El Jaleo, Rafael de Huelva, Mariano Martín, Prashant Shah, Murad Ali, Isabel Montero, Guadiana, Finn Martin, Kaushik Basu, Rafael Jiménez “El Falo”, José Menese, Lole Montoya, Rafael Amargo, Gerardo Nuñez, Javier Paxariño, Luís de Luís, Naseer Shamma, …
Amir has toured in countries like:
England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Scotland, Poland, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Palestine, Ireland, United States, Brazil, Serbia, Morocco, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, Hungary, Malta, Russia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Sudan, Algeria, Nicaragua, South-Africa, Denmark, Japan…
Amir has performed at venues like:
The Royal Festival Hall (London) –Barbican Centre (London) –Royal Albert Hall (London) –The Hot House (Chicago) –Town Hall (New York) –Luna Park (Los Angeles) –Teatro Campesino (San Juan Bautista California) –Teatro Bellini (Palermo) –Cabaret Sauvage (Paris) –Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) –Teatro Tívoli (Barcelona) –Zellerbach Hall (Berkley) –Sala Apolo (Barcelona) –Sala Bikini (Barcelona) –BBC4 (London) –Chapel Hill (London) –Palau de la Musica (Barcelona)– Roskilde Festival 1999 (Denmark) -Kulturhuset (Stockholm) -Cosmopolite (Oslo) -NJPAC (New Jersey) –Emerson Majestic Theatre (Boston) –Dranouter Festival (Belgium) –Jaipure Literatur Festival (India) –Jodhpur Fortress (India) –Teatro Häagen Dazs (Madrid) –Teatro Albeniz (Madrid) -Citadel (Cairo) –Womad Madrid –Womad Canary Island –Festival de Jerez 2007/2010 –Fiesta de la Bulería 2007 (Jerez de la Frontera) –Teatro Fernan Gómez (Madrid) -Teatro Libre (Bogotá) –Teatro Media Torta (Bogotá) –Jazz Festival (Bogotá) –Cumbre Tajin (Veracruz-Mexico) –Feria Internacional del Libro (Guadalajara-México) -SESC (Sao Paolo) –Elevation Festival (Sofia) -Edimbourgh Festival –Tumb of the Kings (Jerusalem) –Jazz Festival (Istambul) –Conde Duque (Madrid) –Sziget Festival (Budapest) -A38 (Budapest), Fliegende Bauten (Hamburg), Joburg Theatre (Johannesburgo), Festival Internacional de las Artes (Costa Rica)…and many others.
He has recorded soundtracks for theatre plays, dance choreographies, publicity, TV documentaries as well as the albums of Radio Tarifa, “Fiebre” (2004) and Chambao (2012) which were nominated at the Latin Grammy Awards.
In 2006 he released his first solo album “Pasando por Tabernas” on German record label Double Moon Records Köln with eight original Flamenco tunes playing Arabic oud and flamenco guitar and in 2013 his second flamenco guitar album called “9 Guitarras” – a work full of sensitivity and maturity produced by Mundo Flamenco and Amir John Haddad which received a lot of good critics from medias and the public in general.
He has successfully recorded the debut album “UNO” of a great Mediterranean world music fusion quartet Zoobazar with the renowned producer Carlos Raya; Amir is also the co-founder of that group. In 2014 he also released the second Zoobazar’s album “DOS” reaching a place in favourites list of World Music Charts Europe. In 2014 Zoobazar played, representing Spain, at Euroradio Folk Music Festival, Sweden and they gave their showcase at WOMEX 2014.
He further produced and released the debut album of Jose Salinas called “Tierra de Luz”, an excellent flamenco singer from Almeria, Andalucia.
He is currently working on his first CD “Serious Business” with his heavy-funk-rock-metal band Members of Parliament, which will be released soon and will continue surprising us with his talent and musical style.
He was also the musical director of the show SOULFOOT and toured in Germany, Austria and South Africa in 2011 and 2014.
Amir applies his musical and cultural heritage in order to achieve a new sound whether it’s Flamenco, Rock, Oriental, Fusion or any other type of music he tries to approach. He does it without losing the strong character and emotional sense of each music style. His further interest in music has led him to play many other instruments besides the flamenco guitar like: Bouzouki, Turkish saz, mandola, banjo, electric oud, electric guitar and bass.
Amir-John Haddad is an original composer and a musician with an extraordinary sensitivity as well as a virtuoso performer who knows how to combine his musical legacy with the musical influences of the present.