Trumpeter Emil Haddad was a fixture on the Massachusetts jazz scene for decades. A renowned and well-loved musician, he generously shared his great spirit and warm music with generations of jazz audiences in Central New England. "We've all been blessed to have someone like this around. We're all better people for having known him. And Worcester is a better place culturally because of what he did." - Brian Barlow/ executive director, WICN Radio 90.5 FM
B: 1922 - Worcester, MA
D: August 9, 2004 - Worcester, MA
Instruments: Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Worcester native Haddad has been entertaining local audiences since childhood. At the age of 10, he formed a comedy act with Al Dahrooge and could be heard every Saturday morning over radio
station WTAG. He started playing trumpet at 13. In high school he worked professionally with pianist Al Gervais. Haddad went on to play in a variety of territory bands, including Gene Broadman, the Watson Brothers and Lee Castle.
Haddad was in the U.S. Army during World War II, and while in in France he played with singer Jack Leonard, who sang the hit "Marie." Returning stateside, he attended the Schillinger House of Music, which later became the Berklee College of Music. In the late '40s he toured with Tommy Reynolds, who led a band that supported such stars as Pearl Bailey and the Nicholas Brothers.
During that time, he moved to New York City and became part of the thriving bebop scene. He not only spent most of his time on 52nd Street - he actually lived there. (One of his roommates was the drummer Stan Levy.)
Haddad returned to Worcester in 1953 to form the popular Emil Haddad & the Notables, who performed throughout the area for more than 30 years. In 1982, Haddad formed his extraordinary duo with pianist Dick Odgren. Known for his warm personality and generous sound, Haddad has the unique distinction of being one of the very few local performers to support himself entirely by his art. He is documented proof that you don't necessarily have to leave town in order to excel at your chosen endeavor. He is a local treasure and should dispel any notion that hometown heroes can't compete on a national level.
by Chet Williamson - from his publication "The Jazz Worcester Real Book"