Clarice Assad


Clarice Assad: composer, arranger, producer, pianist and vocalist

By From page B1 | March 26, 2014

Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a “serious triple threat,” and “an arranger and orchestrator of great imagination” (SF Classical Voice), Grammy Award nominee Clarice Assad is making her mark in the music world as a pianist, arranger, vocalist and a composer.

Assad will make her Harris Center debut this Thursday on the heels of her critically acclaimed performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

As a pianist, Assad, “a virtuoso on the piano and vocal cords” (UNT.Se), has received acclaim for her performances of both original compositions and her own arrangements of popular Brazilian songs and jazz standards. As a vocalist, Assad sings in Portuguese, French, Italian and English, but thrives in exploring the voice as an instrument, creating a vast array of innovative techniques.

A versatile artist of musical depth and sophistication, Assad is also an accomplished composer with works published in France, Germany and the United States, and performed in Europe, South America, the United States and Japan.

Assad’s music often has a thematic core and explores the physical and psychological elements of the chosen story or concept. With a repertoire in continuous expansion, her works are sought out by musicians both in the classical and the jazz realms. Assad’s music has been commissioned, performed and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists and chamber musicians on the scene today, including names such as violinist Nadja Salerno- Sonnenberg, violoncellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, pop singer Insooni, LA Guitar Quartet, the Concordia Chamber Players, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Assad was born into one of Brazil’s most famous musical families (she is the daughter of Sergio Assad, one of today’s preeminent guitarists and composers) and has performed professionally since the age of 7. Formal piano studies began with Sheila Zagury in Brazil; she then studied with Natalie Fortin in Paris and had additional instruction in Jazz and Brazilian piano under the tutelage of Leandro Braga. Assad continued her classical piano studies in the United States with Ed Bedner (Berklee School of Music) and then Bruce Berr at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Composition studies have been with Ilya Levinson, Stacy Garrop, David Rakowski, Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Daugherty, Evan Chambers and Claude Baker. She studied voice with Susan Botti and Judy Blazer.

Assad Holds a Bachelor of Music from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill., and a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has attended numerous artists’ residencies including the MacDowell Colony, YADDO, the Copland house and the Harrison house. She currently resides in New York City.

Clarice Assad will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at 7 pm and Friday, March 28, 2014 at 7 & 9 pm. Tickets are priced at $29 to $39; students with ID pay $12. Tickets are available online at or from Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.

Three Stages


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