[The Short Story]
Guitarist-Composer-Educator Az Samad has recorded with Grammy Winners Flaco Jiménez & Max Baca; graduated & taught at the prestigious Berklee College of Music; performed in the United States, Europe & Asia; and appeared on 16 CDs ranging in styles from Tex-Mex, Contemporary Jazz to solo acoustic guitar. His works have been described as "richly textured, poetic and atmospheric". Previously based in Berkeley, California; Az now lives in Kuala Lumpur.
[The Longer Version]
Guitarist-Composer-Educator Az Samad has performed in the United States, Europe and Asia. A versatile musician who has appeared on sixteen CDs (seven of which are his solo releases), Az has worked with Grammy winners Flaco Jiménez and Max Baca, drummer Bernie Dresel (Brian Setzer Orchestra), singer-songwriters Tara Linda and Reza Salleh, guitarists John Stowell, Stuart Ryan, and Teja Gerken; world music ensemble Bogofusion; electronic jazz-funk group Planet Loop; Cumbia-Dub band Candelaria; and string jazz ensemble JazzMine. He has also performed as part of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in sold-out performances and worked with conductors Richard Kaufman (USA) and Mark Fitz-Gerald (UK).
As an educator, Az has been on the faculty of Berklee College of Music's Summer Guitar Sessions and has taught workshops at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut; Culturefest in Pipestem, West Virginia; and The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California. Az believes in contributing back to the society that has supported his music efforts. His music outreach program starts off with scholarship student Irena Taib of The Impatient Sisters fame. Az currently conducts private guitar lessons in Kuala Lumpur with a strong focus on beginners and Jazz students.
Earlier this year, he embarked on his first European tour with California-based Tara Linda & The Tortilla Western Trio performing in the Folk Segovia Festival, Spain & a 3-night residency at Töpferei Niehenke, Hasbergen, Germany. The Amsterdam Recordings - his first solo electric fingerstyle guitar album was recorded during the tour. Previously based in Berkeley, California; Az now lives in Kuala Lumpur.