Brief Biography.

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Elyadeen Anbar is a a modern guitarist with a keen instinct towards musical tradition. After years of touring internationally based out of New York, Elyadeen has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with artists such as Big Boi, Passion Pit, Umphrey’s McGee, Gavin DeGraw, Smashmouth, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Antibalas, and more. Having studied with such luminaries as Bobby Broom, Chris Potter, and Wayne Krantz, Elyadeen has developed his own musical personality, which blends 60's soul, Brazilian, middle eastern and hip hop music. Elyadeen combines his influences with his own stylistic instinct and knowledge of contemporary and classic music for an eclectic and engaging performance.

photo by Gordon Ho

photo by Gordon Ho

Elyadeen Anbar was born in 1985.


Early Life

Elyadeen Anbar was born in Los Angeles, California, to two human parents. Contrary to popular myth, he was not born with the ability to fly or move objects with his mind, although close sources claim he had a fascination with ceiling fans.

After considering his options, he decided to move with his family at the age of three to Montreal, as independence didn't quite yet suit him. Luckily, his parents felt that was the wise decision, and agreed to keep him on. During this formative time Elyadeen discovered his love of cartooning, the literature of R.L. Stine, and rose up through the ranks of his neighborhood street hockey league.

At the age of ten the family once again relocated, this time to Chicago. Having been briefed on the recent success of the Chicago Bulls, Elyadeen became a basketball fan, and even joined the Penny Hardaway fan club (including with his mail-in application, approximately 100 pennies.)

At twelve years old, Elyadeen discovered youthful angst, and with it a trove of punk rock, alternative, and metal albums that would go on to shape his personal history and raise the eyebrows of his immediate family. At the age of 14 he and some friends were inspired to start a band of their own, prompting him to rent his first guitar.

Dejected by his Hogwarts rejection letter, Elyadeen reluctantly began high school in the fall of 2000, and naturally dismissed traditional academic practices in favor of his own alternative interests. He continued to play in rock and jam bands, and was a member of his school's jazz ensemble for all four years of high school.  He developed a love of jazz, engaged by its rules and intrigued by the methods with which to break those rules.

2004-2008: Further development

Elyadeen enrolled in the music conservatory at DePaul University in the fall of 2004, as a jazz guitar major.  During this time, Elyadeen met the two Bob's that would change his life, Bobby Broom and Bob Palmieri.  It was also during this time that he began to explore the option of professional musical performance.

Elyadeen learned how to be an accompanist and sideman during this time.  He began residencies with tenor sax man Frank Catalano at the Green Mill and Andy's Jazz, Chicago's staple jazz venues.  He performed at the Symphony Center, Navy Pier, the United Center and more of the city's legendary venues, doing everything from jazz fusion to high profile weddings to directing musical theater productions.

Elyadeen cut his first album as a leader with some of Chicago's most notable young jazz musicians including Greg Ward, Scott Williams, Stefan Czestokowski, Cory Biggerstaff and AJ Kluth.  He also studied the first seven seasons of the Simpsons as a Talmudic scholar might approach the Torah.

2008-2015: NYC and beyond

Elyadeen performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City for the first time in the Spring of 2007. After having driven for 18 hours (give or take) a colleague dragged him across town to the basement jazz club called the 55 Bar, where he first heard Wayne Krantz play the guitar. It was in that moment that he decided that he would do all he could to spend time living in New York.

He enrolled in the jazz department at NYU, graduating with his Masters in 2008. He found a home for himself in Brooklyn [edit: several homes in Brooklyn] and enjoyed participating in the vibrant and progressive music scene of New York City. Elyadeen performed everywhere from the Blue Note to BB King's, from Rockwood Music Hall to the Music Hall of Williamsburg. He played on pop albums, jazz albums, funk albums, backed up singers, wrote music, taught music, went on tours, actively lived the life of a freelance musician in New York City.

In 2015, Elyadeen taped a cloth full of his belongings to a sturdy stick and hopped a few box cars until he made his way to Hollywood, the nexus of American culture.  He continues to enjoy performing, teaching, talking and writing about music, and looks forward to his continuing adventure in this new and exciting city.