El Amir is the great promoter and a driving force of themusic with Mediterranean and Flamenco emotion.
He is a soulful musician, a melting pot of cultures and races,with an enormous creativity, able to transmit generously new emotionsto contribute to world harmony.
Amir-John Haddad was born In Freiburg Germany in 1975 with 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.
Since a very small 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 western influences like Jazz, Rock, Funk, Pop, Metal, Fusion…
“When I was seven years old our TV quit working and my parents didn’t replace it so from that moment on I was raised without TV at home and that was very important to my playing and 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 the 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 disciple of famous guitar maestros like Pepe Justicia and Enrique de Melchor. This experience was going to be 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 had the opportunity to work, record and tour with various artists like:
Marcus Miller, Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerard, Radio Tarifa, Chambao, Daler Mehndi, Shankar Mahadevan, Gavin Greenaway, Jorge Pardo, Arcángel, Josemi Carmona, Kroke, Juno Reactor, Carles Benavent, Pepe Bao, Raimundo Amador, Tomasito, Antonio Canales, María Dolores Pradera, Diego El Cigala, Miguel Poveda, Estrella Morente, José Mercé, José María Bandera, Rafael de Utrera, José Soto “Sorderita”, La Maui, Amparo Sánchez “Amparanoia”, Mine Kawakami, Juan García-Herreros “Snow Owl”, Rusanda Panfili, Pedro Eustache, Scott Yoo, Sandra Carrasco, Joaquín Ruiz, Maestro Ciro, Eliseo Parra, Navajita Plateá, Melendi, O’Funkillo, La Shica, Lin Cortés, Orquesta Nacional de España, Inmaculada Ortega, Pepe Justicia, Belén Fernández, Carmela Greco, José Luis Montón, Carmen París, Enrique de Melchor, Juan Parrilla, David Cereduela, Antonio Carrión, Hamsika Iyer, Alejandro Granados, Talegón de Córdoba, Domingo Ortega, Olga Pericet, Manuel Liñán, Marcos Flores, Tino di Geraldo, Alfonso Losa, José Antonio Galicia “El Gali”, Teresa Nieto, Susana Weich Shahak, Maher Sissoko, Los Losada, Rocío Molina, Imran Khan, El Jaleo, Farah Siraj, Prashant Shah, Murad Ali, Orquesta Nacional de Minsk (Belorusia), Guadiana, Finn Martin, José Menese, Lole Montoya, Rafael Amargo, Gerardo Núñez, Javier Paxariño, Naseer Shamma, …
Amir has toured countries like:
England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Scotland, Poland, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Ireland, USA, Brazil, Serbia, Morocco, Costa Rica, Mexico , Colombia, Hungary, Malta, Russia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Sudan, Algeria, Nicaragua, South Africa, Denmark, Montenegro, Lithuania, Japan, Qatar…
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 on the albums Radio Tarifa “Fiebre” (2004) and Chambao (2012, 2016) 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 he released his second flamenco guitar album called “9 Guitarras” a work full of sensitivity and maturity produced by Mundo Flamenco and Amir John Haddad.
Together with producer Carlos Raya he recorded in 2011 the debut album “Uno” of his World Music Quartet Zoobazar, which received outstanding reviews. In 2014 he released the band’s second album “Dos” with even more excellent reviews, appearing on the top list of the World Music Charts Europe.
In 2014 Zoobazar represented Spain at the Euroradio Folk Music Festival in Sweden and gave a showcase at one of the most important music fairs in the world WOMEX 2014. After touring the world for 14 years the band Zoobazar decides to stop its activity in 2017 in order for its members to pursue their various individual projects.
As a musical producer El Amir produces the debut album “Tierra de luz” of flamenco singer José Salinas (Galileo 2013).
He has been the musical director of the multidisciplinary show Soulfoot (founded and created by Finn Martin) touring Germany, Austria and South Africa in 2011 and 2014.
El Amir applies his musical and cultural heritage to create a new sound. Whether it is flamenco, rock, oriental, fusion or any other style that he performs, he always does it without losing the strong character and musical emotion of each style. His further interest in different music styles has led him to play various instruments such as: flamenco guitar, bouzouki, Turkish saz, mandola, banjo, Arabic lute (electric and acoustic), electric guitar, ukulele and bass …
Amir John Haddad is an amazing composer and a musician with an extraordinary sensitivity, musicality as well as a virtuoso performer who combines his musical legacy with the musical influences of the present.