World renowned classical guitarist Jad Azkoul has been featured at international music festivals, including the Festival Estival de Paris, the Menton and Monflanquin Festivals (France), the Jerash Festival (Jordan) and the Al-Bustan Festival (Lebanon); at numerous guitar festivals: the Guitar Foundation of America (USA), Ezstergom (Hungary), Kraków (Poland), Voronezh (Russia), and Montreux (Switzerland); and has performed in London, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, Beirut, Geneva, Moscow, Warsaw, as well as in France, the Middle East, and North and South America.
Jad Azkoul records for the French label, Forlane. The Latin Illustrations for Guitar CD features music by Villa-Lobos, Silvestre, Barrios and Carlevaro. His latest recording, De Granada a Buenos Aires, includes music by Albéniz, Coeck, Piazzolla, and Schulé. Several composers, amongst them Lourival Silvestre, Bernard Schulé and Abel Carlevaro, have dedicated works to Azkoul.
Jad Azkoul was born in New York of Lebanese parents on June 8, 1948. He began the guitar in Australia at age 13, and continued playing in Lebanon. At age of 23, after obtaining his MA in psychology at the American University of Beirut, he decided to study music full time. First he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as a student in jazz arranging and composition, and later went to Paris to study classical composition, analysis, and orchestration with Narcis Bonet, Pierre Petit and Nadia Boulanger.
At the same time he studied under the great guitar masters in Paris for five years before moving to Montevideo, invited by the great Uruguayan virtuoso and composer Abel Carlevaro. It was in South America that he perfected his technique for three years, later becoming one of Carlevaro’s principle teaching assistants.
In 1984 he joined the guitar faculty at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique in Geneva, where he still teaches. Between 1992 and 1995 he lived in Washington, D.C. and taught at the American University and the Catholic University. He is also a member of the Swiss Association for Music Pedagogy (SSPM), training guitarists to become teachers.
Amongst the awards that Jad Azkoul received can be mentioned the Affiliate Artists Award (New York) in 1985, and the Order of the Cedar, a decoration by the Lebanese president in 1988 in recognition of his international musical achievements.
In additon to his teaching and performing activities, he has translated several music articles and books on the guitar. He also writes for guitar magazines in the USA, England and France. He was on the cover of the January 2006 issue of the German classical guitar magazine Gitarre Aktuell. Jad Azkoul has been selected to do the guitar clinic at the next ASTA congress in 2006.
“Azkoul can make his instrument sing. This is a skill far more important than the ability to whip out thousands of notes per minute accurately and expressively, which he also can do”.
The Washington Post