Badi Assad (pronounced Bah-Jee Ah-Sahj) is a Brazilian fingerstyle guitarist, vocalist, composer, and percussionist. Her music crisscrosses and integrates everything from Brazilian folk and MPB to classical, jazz, and world music traditions. She often employs prepared guitar techniques to create unusual timbres, and sings in English and Portuguese.
She gained global renown with 1994’s Solo for Chesky. Assad signed to Universal for 1998’s Chameleon. In 2003, she released the collaborative Three Guitars with Larry Coryell and John Abercrombie and followed it with a sold-out world tour. Assad released 2004’s charting Verde and 2006’s Wonderland for Deutsche Grammophon before a recording hiatus of six years. Her 2013 comeback, Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas, and 2014’s Between Love and Luck, were issued on her Quatro Ventos label. After 2015’s English-language Hatched, she wrote a book and returned in 2020 with Around the World for Ropeadope. Chesky remastered and re-released Solo in 2021.
Assad was born Mariângela Assad Simão in the state of São Paulo but spent her childhood in Rio de Janeiro. Her family is quite musical. Her father, Jorge Assad, was a watchmaker and master bandolim player; her mother sang; her older brothers, twins Sergio and Odair Assad, make up the world-renowned guitar duo the Assad Brothers, and her nieces are pianist, composer, and arranger Clarice Assad and singer Carolina Assad.
“She continued with Brazilian pop songs transformed by her imaginative virtuosity, moving from gauzy delicacy to vigorous propulsion, from dreaming to dancing and back” – The New York Times