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May Musical Artist of the Month – Jamey Haddad

Photo by Jeff Forman

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Percussionist/Drummer Jamey Haddad holds a singular position in the world of jazz and contemporary music. Haddad’s musical voice transcends styles and trends, and the universal quality of his playing has attracted many international collaborations. Born of Lebanese descent, he is regarded as one of the foremost world music and jazz percussionists in the United States.


Haddad has been voted one of the top world percussionists across the globe by several entities, most recently by the DRUM! Magazine. Jamey has been in the working band of Paul Simon since 2000 and is on his latest recording Seven Psalms. Recently, Haddad performed on Francis Ford Coppola’s newest film Megalopolis.  His working band, Bokanté, has been a Grammy finalist on its last two recordings.


Past collaborations include Osvaldo Golijov, Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, Dawn Upshaw, Joe Lovano, Elliot Goldenthal, Brazil’s Assad Brothers , Simon Shaheen, the Paul Winter Consort, Nancy Wilson, Dave Liebman, Esperanza Spalding, Trichy Sankaran, vocalist Betty Buckley, Steve Shehan, Leo Blanco, Nguyen Lee, and others.


In collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra, Haddad curated and performed on its Fridays @ 7 series, which combines a short classical program with an after-concert performance by a world music ensemble. This series has been embraced enthusiastically by audiences and musicians alike and has resulted in a significant increase of first-time attendees at Severance Hall concerts.


Haddad has developed a series of percussion instruments that are well known throughout the Percussion world, and two of his instruments are in the Metropolitan Museum, permanent instrument collection and the renowned Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix. He has also aided with the acquisition of instruments from around the world for the MIM.


Haddad joined the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory in 2004, where he is Professor of Advanced Improvisation and Percussion. Haddad has also been a professor at the Berklee College of Music for 19 years, the New England Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music where he also currently teaches.

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