Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a Grammy-nominated composer, pianist, and vocalist of musical depth and ability. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a serious triple threat”, Assad is equally comfortable as a performer and band leader. Her music is vibrant, diverse, soulful, colorful. Carefully crafted textures permeate her musical world, which embraces a wide variety of styles, including her own original concepts.
Assad’s music has also been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Fundação OSESP, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the New Chamber Orchestra, Concordia Chamber Players, the Albany Symphony, the Harris Foundation, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the BRAVO! Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, among others. Her works have been recorded and performed by some of the most prominent soloists and conductors today, including Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Yo-Yo Ma, Mike Marshall, the Turtle Island String Quartet, LA Guitar Quartet, Anne-Marie McDermott, Eugene Zuckerman, Ida Kadafian, Chanticleer, among others. Her music has been performed by internationally acclaimed orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Queensland Symphony, the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo, led by some of today’s most exciting conductors such as Marin Alsop, David Alan Miller, Alondra de la Parra and Christoph Eschenbach.
Assad recently served as Composer-in-Residence for the Albany Symphony. She has also been featured as a resident composer at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and is currently resident composer with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Ms. Assad is the recipient of such awards as the Aaron Copland Award, several ASCAP awards in composition, Meet The Composer’s Van Lier Fellowship, New Music USA, NPR’s All Songs Considered, the Jerome Foundation, the Franklin Honor Society, as well as a nomination from the Grammy Foundation for best contemporary composition.
As a performer, Ms. Assad has received acclaim for her performances of both original compositions and her own arrangements of popular Brazilian songs, world music and jazz standards. She has performed at venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and Doha, Qatar, the Caramoor International Jazz Festival, Carnegie hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Concertgebow in Amsterdam, San Francisco Jazz, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in Chicago, Le Casino de Paris in Paris, France and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Belgium. Hailed by the LA Times as “A dazzling soloist,” Assad sings in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and English, but thrives in exploring the voice as an instrument, creating a vast array of innovative textures and incorporating an exciting vocabulary of extended techniques into her music.
Assad’s music is represented on Cedille Records, SONY Masterworks, Edge, Telarc, NSS Music, GHA and CHANDOS labels. She has recorded four solo albums, the latest titled IMAGINARIUM, which features over 50 guests: a combination of professional and amateur instrumentalists and singers, which has received stellar reviews from Jazz Times, Jazz Weekly, World Music Report and Songlines, among other publications. The album was rated “the most startling Brazilian jazz album in years” and Assad was voted highly among the “Top 10 artists influencing Brazilian music today” by Wondering Sound.
She holds a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the Roosevelt University and a Master of Music degree from The University of Michigan School of Music, where she studied with Michael Daugherty, Susan Botti and Evan Chambers. Her works are published in France (Editions Lemoine), Germany (Trekel), Criadores do Brasil (Brazil) and independently by Virtual Artists Collective Publishing, (VACP) a publishing company co-founded with poet and philosopher Steve Schroeder. On its 10 year anniversary, VACP has published 55 volumes of poetry and music.
SummerFest 2015 marks Clarice Assad’s La Jolla Music Society debut.