In an era when the music industry seems bent on splintering genres into user-friendly categories, it's rare to find a musician who is the antithesis of such undertakings. Even though tradition has always mandated that true musicians possess enough versatility to address the needs of any musical situation, it seems that artists of Jamey Haddad's stature are few and far between. A native of Cleveland, the percussionist and drummer has worked with a plethora of diverse jazz artists over the years, including Dave Liebman, Laszlo Gardonay, and Joe Lovano. Haddad has also flexed his creative muse with Middle Eastern greats Rabih Abou Khalil and Simon Shaheen.
Of Lebanese ancestry, Haddad started playing the Arabic dumbec at an early age and later mastered a sizable number of percussive instruments from many cultures -- eventually even designing his own. The recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Haddad traveled around the world, and he's in demand internationally for master classes and seminars.
Now living in New York and maintaining an active schedule that includes teaching at Boston's famed Berklee College of Music, Haddad has appeared on more than 75 recordings and has been featured in scores of performances, both as a leader and sideman. His most high-profile endeavor of late was as an integral part of Shaheen's touring group a few years back and as a player on the singer-songwriter's Grammy-nominated 2000 release, You're the One. Indeed, Haddad is the one for fans of jazz as varied as it is virtuosic.