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Alexander Adhami AKA Alex Plays

Artist Info
Alexander Adhami AKA Alex Plays

Multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer

M-Audio Gear :
Axiom 25

Official Website:

Alexander Adhami has toured the globe with an open ear to world music. At an early age, Alexander sought after music on the piano, eventually moving to guitar, voice, santoor (hammered dulcimer) and cello. In his mid-teens, Alexander competed successfully at the Heritage Jazz Festival in New Orleans as a vocalist and a guitarist. This inspired him to dive into music and explore different genres. He started an avant-garde group called The Tenth Planet Ensemble, which was his initial workspace where he would experiment with the mysteries of sound and the mysticism of music. In his early twenties, he studied radeef (Persian classical music) with Madjid Kiani, one of Persia’s foremost musicologists and santoor players. This fostered the inspiration to incorporate these melodies into all of his jazz improvisations and other eclectic compositions.

A journey to India included performances with renowned artists, a basic facility on the tabla, and a deeper study of their music. Alexander studied classical Indian vocals with Bhavdeep Jaipurvale, who has produced and arranged for many famous artists such as Abida Parvin, Pankaj Udhas and Pandit Jasraj—just to name a few. This opened the door to studies and performances with many of India’s great artists.

Alexander credits include Joe Cocker’s Heart and Soul (2005), composer and cellist for the film The Keeper, music for Cirque Eos and more. He shared the stage with Cirque acrobats and sang and performed music on a variety of instruments. Currently on call with Cirque du Soleil, Alexander produced a private event for Cirque artists during the opening of The Beatles Love Show. He has toured internationally and starred with Steve Reid, Miles Davis’ percussionist, in Dreamscapes. Composing music in collaboration with Syncmasters for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Adhami is also sought after as a film and television composer by companies such as Groove Addicts, for which he composed the Ignite library. The library is used by NBC’s Deal or No Deal and is distributed to over 900 major television networks around the world.

Alexander Adhami AKA Alex Plays
Multi-Instrumentalist/Producer/Composer (Joe Cocker, Cirque du Soleil)

Adhami on M-Audio hardware: “I own an Axiom 25 controller, IE-30 reference earphones, Oxygen8 controller and a MIDISPORT 2x2 MIDI interface. I use my M-Audio gear with a Mac G5 with 8 gigs of RAM and a whole bunch of real instruments including cello, guitar, santoor, tabla, setar, harps and many hand drums—I also sing in many vocal styles. The Axiom 25 and Oxygen8 are excellent for the road—they allow me to start and finish a song while traveling and it sounds very professional, as if it was done in my home studio! In a project I did with Swiss Chris (music director for John Legend), I used my M-Audio controllers along with Ableton Live to get the exact sound that we wanted—it turned out sounding great!”

“The IE-30 earphones are excellent for mixing music anywhere, I use them as a reference on the road all of the time.”

Adhami on M-Audio software: “ I use Digidesign’s Mbox 2 as well, which is really simple and excellent. It allows me to work with other artists using any version of Pro Tools, from Pro Tools M-Powered to Pro Tools HD3 systems!”

Why M-Audio? “M-Audio’s technical support has been extremely helpful—I once had a small problem and they fixed the issue very quickly.

“M-Audio makes well thought-out hardware and software for the traveling musician. It’s very simple and easy to use, and has really sped up a lot of my production. M-Audio is a very current player in the music industry—always trying to innovate and work with the needs of the professional musician.”

His songwriting process: “When a musical idea comes to me, I usually hear all of the parts working together and it comes to me in a flash.  Then, I use my software and hardware tools to transfer those ideas into a produced song.”

What he is proud of: “As an artist, I am most proud of my world music contribution to Joe Cocker’s most recent release, Heart and Soul.   In my own music as an entertainer, I am proud that I am able to perform music with most classically trained artists from cultures all over the world.”