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 22 CDs ranging in styles from Tex-Mex, Contemporary Jazz to solo acoustic guitar. His works have been described as “richly textured, poetic and atmospheric”. His first book, Jazz Improvisation Uncovered received critical acclaim from jazz guitarist Julian Lage and Berklee professor Abigail Zocher.
An experienced performer, Az has performed with virtuoso violinist Roby Lakatos, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Bumblefoot, singer-songwriter Zee Avi, funky fingerstyle guitarist Adam Rafferty and percussive fingerstyle guitarist Mike Dawes. Az also frequently performs as part of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and was the classical guitar soloist for the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy Kuala Lumpur concert conducted by Arnie Roth.
Az has been exploring Malay jazz including the music of P. Ramlee, Jimmy Boyle and most recently Singapore’s Zubir Said. As the musical director and guitarist for A Zubir Said Tribute, Az lead 5 shows at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, Singapore with an 11-piece ensemble performing brand new arrangements he wrote.
Previously based in Berkeley, California; Az now lives in Kuala Lumpur.