Habib Benedikt Elias




The singer, pianist and composer Habib Benedikt Elias discovered already at the age of 12 the music of Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman and thereby his fascination for jazz music which accompanies him until today.     

The free use of musical forms and elements, the improvising and the openness of jazz music to connect different stiles of music are the basis for Elias' projects.    

Influences from the repertoire of the French Chanson, the Bossa Nova and the pop music flow into his interpretations and song compositions as well as his classical music studies (clarinet, opera singing), his experiences in film music composing and his interest in languages.   

Habib Elias performs in various formations, often in a duo with drums, also solo (voice/piano) and in a trio and quartet formation.  

His first piano lessons he received at the age of eight, his first clarinet lesson at the age of 14, when he was 16 years old he had his first saxophone lesson.

Habib Elias studied clarinet at the Staatlichen Hochschule für Musik Trossingen (University of Music in Trossingen) (1992 - 1996), which was followed by singing classes with Ulrike Sonntag (1996 - 1998) and his studies in opera singing at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Saarbrücken (University of Music in Saarbrücken) (1997 – 2000). Since 2001 he also works as a composer and arranger for filmmusic, amongst others for ARTE, ARD, ZDF and cinema. (i.a. composition of the film music for „Elements of mine“ (First prize at the Moving Pictures Festival in Toronto, 2004), participation in the composition of the filmmusic for the award-winning cinema documentary "Rhythm is it"  which received several awards).  

The versatility and flexibility of his voice in dialogue with his piano playing enable him to interpret both jazz songs and songs of various music styles with voice improvisations and open forms.     

When he arranges a Chanson he searches for sounds in which you find the allegories, pictorial descriptions or humorous tales of the song's lyrics. With Bossa Nova songs he tries to explore its beauty and subtlety against the backround of the inspired cooperation between poets and composers like Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim. The fact that he sings today this repertoire in its original language Portuguese he owes to his wife, a philologist from Brazil.     

Especially in his own compositions Habib Elias can combine his diverse musical experience. Amongst others colours of Jazz harmony combine with moods that you associate with song compositions of classical music, or there is a mix between voice improvisation and i.a. socially critical lyric contents or form concepts that you rather link to film music.     

His stays in Berlin (2001 – 2006), Barcelona (2006 – 2008) and London (2008 – 2012) gave to him the opportunity to know very different facets of making music. Apart from English and German he sings also in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, which is not only related to his periods abroad but also to his joy of learning languages. He tries thereby to involve in his music the individual strength of each language to express emotions and stories.     

He played with Felix Schrack, Andrea Marcelli, Martin Trostel, Florian Dohrmann, Johnathan Robinson, Dirk Engelhardt, as well as regularly at jam sessions in Berlin (i.a. with Kalle Kalima), Barcelona and London.     

Since 2012 Habib Benedikt Elias lives with his wife and their two children in Rottenburg am Neckar.                              


Events in 2022 please refer to DATES


02.04.2022, Album Release "Auf halbem Weg", with the support of the scholarship program NEUSTART KULTUR


30.10.2021, Album Release "Journeys"

11. August 2021, 19.00 Uhr, concert with solo - program (voice/piano) in the frame of the concert cycle "Music Meets Art" in the  PopUp KulturLaden of the Bürgerstiftung Rottenburg. The gallery exhibits works by Ralf Ehmann.

25. April 2021, 11.00 Uhr, matinee, online livestream concert in the Theater Lindenhof, Melchingen, "Songs from the Movies", with Wolfgang Fischer (Piano), Steffen Hollenweger (Bass), Joachim Gröschel (Drums)


17. Oktober 2020, 20.00 h, Jazz und Klassiktage Tübingen, Hammerschmiede Rottenburg, "Voice, Flute & Rhythm", Habib Benedikt Elias Quartet featuring Bobby Baur, with Martin Trostel (Piano), Steffen Hollenweger (Bass), Dieter Schumacher (Drums), H.B.Elias (Voice), Bobby Baur (Flute, Sopransax)


18 October 2019, 20.00 h, Jazz und Klassiktage Tübingen, Hammerschmiede Rottenburg, "Songs from the Movies", with Martin Trostel (Piano), Florian Dohrmann (Bass), Dieter Schumacher (Drums)

Late Night Big Band Rottenburg, Zehntscheuer, Cultural Night, Rottenburg, 4 May 2019, 22.00 h


Jazz-Matinee, Cinema "Waldhorn" Rottenburg, "Movie Songs - Live", 30.09.2018, with Martin Trostel (Piano), Florian Dohrmann (Bass), Felix Schrack (Drums)

Open Air, 40th anniversary of the Jazzclub Balingen, 14 July 2018, with MAJA: Matti Münch-Saxophon, Alex Neher-Schlagzeug, Jörg Sommer-Klavier/Gesang, Andreas Reif-Kontrabass


Late Night Big Band Rottenburg, Zehntscheuer, Cultural Night, Rottenburg, 21 October 2017, 22.00 h

Late Night Big Band Rottenburg, marketplace, Rottenburg, 09 September 2017, 20.30 h

Musical frame at the Rottenburger summer poetry readings, Haus am Nepomuk, 22 August 2017, 19.00 h


Cinema "Waldhorn" Rottenburg, "Movie Songs - Live"  with Felix Schrack: Drums, 27 November 2016, 11h    

Late Night Big Band Rottenburg, Marketplace, Rottenburg, Cultural Night, 10 September 2016     


Performances in author readings (book authors Matthias Kopetzki, Nam Nguyen, Gebhard Bock), "Kleine Bühne", VHS-Rottenburg am Neckar, (2013/2014)  


Christmas concert with a solo program (voice, piano), jazz arrangements of Christmas songs in German and English, Nepomuk-Haus, Rottenburg am Neckar  


Regular performances at "Mr Wing", London, Chelsea, (2011/2012)   


Performances in a jazz trio and quartet, i.a. with Andrea Marcelli (drums), Jonathan Robinson (bass) and Dirk Engelhardt (saxophone)

2007 – 2009

Performances in "Tarantos", “La Serilla”, “Chaise Lounge”, Barcelona, Spain

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

Several Performances at the New Year Celebrations at the Jolly-Hotel Berlin in for up to 300 international guests.


Performance solo at the award evening of the Television-Festival in Baden Baden, Germany


Composition, production and interpretation of the film music for the musical film "Elements of mine“ (TV channels Arte and NDR) with Ensemble members of the Schaubühne and of the Komische Oper Berlin                                                                                                                                      First Prize, Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video (MopixAward 2004)                                                                                                    Toronto VideoDance, 2004 International Thessaloniki Film Festival, Athen & Thessaloniki                                                                                            DANCE ON CAMERA FESTIVAL 2005, New York                                                                                                                                                          DFA's 32nd Annual Festival 2005, New York

Composition and recording of two Brazilian songs for the Hape Kerkeling Cinema movie “Samba in Mettmann“, Director: Angelo Colagrossi


Composition and recording of the song "You've settled in my mind" for the television series "Wilde Engel" for the TV channel RTL. 

Composition and recording of two Italian songs for the feature film „Liebe ist die beste Medizin“, Director: Hannu Salonen, TV channel ARD     



10 episodes of the TV Series "Die Familiendetektivin", ZDF, Production: Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, Director: Ulli Baumann, (2014) 


"In einem wilden Land", SAT1, Production: Two Oceans Production, Director: Rainer Matsutani

"Beste Freundinnen", ZDF, Production: Relevant Film, Director: Thomas Jauch

"Wer wenn nicht Du", ZDF, Director: Ulli Baumann

"Familie Sonntag auf Abwegen", ZDF, Production: Olga Film, Director: Ulli Baumann

"Ein Sommer in Amalfi", ZDF, Production: Colonia Media, Director: Jorgo Papavassilio


"Der Tag am See", ZDF, Director: Ulli Baumann

"Johanna und der Buschpilot, Der Weg nach Afrika", "Johanna und der Buschpilot, Die Legende der Kraniche ", ZDF, Production: Teamworx, Director: Ulli Baumann

"Tatort – Ihr Kinderlein kommet", WDR, Production: Colonia Media, Director: Thomas Jauch


"Ein Sommer in Paris", ZDF, Production: Teamworx, Director: Jorgo Papavassilio  

"Tatort - Kinderland", MDR, Production: Saxonia, Director: Thomas Jauch

"Wilde Wellen", ZDF, Production: Bavaria, Director: Ulli Baumann, 4-Teiler    

"Der Kriminalist", ZDF, Production: Monaco Film, Director: Hannu Salonen, Folge 39-41 

"Die Samenhändlerin", ZDF, Production: Bavaria, Director: Michael Keusch


"Otto's Eleven" Cinema: (Verleih: Warner Bros.), Production: TransWaalFilm, Director: Sven Unterwaldt


"Gerdas Schweigen",  Cinema: (Verleih: Piffl Medien), Production: Zeitsprung , Director: Britta Wauer, Documentary, CD release at Alhambra Records, Award:  "Beste Filmmusik", Kinofest Lünen    


Documentary film „Rhythm is it“ about an education project with Sir Simon Rattle and The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra   

"Tatort" with Dominik Raake and Jürgen Vogel, Director: Hannu Salonen, (TV channel ARD)   

2001 – 2003    

Composition and production of the score music for the television serie “Hinter Gittern” (episodes 177 – 332), produced by Grundy Ufa  for the TV channel RTL


Since 2012      

Singing, piano, clarinet and saxophone teacher at the Musikschule Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany    

2014  - 2019 

Singing teacher for jazz and popular music at the Jugendmusikschule Balingen

2014  - 2016 
Teacher of clarinet classes at the Geschwister-Scholl Schule Tübingen, Musikschule Tübingen 

2010 - 2012    

Piano, clarinet and singing teacher at The Music House for Children, London, UK, i.a. preparing pupils for Grade exams, ABRSM 

Music teacher at the Tabernacle School, Holland Park, London, UK Preparing pupils for GCSE music exams, „AQA“ 

2009 - 2012     

Private singing, piano, clarinet and music theory teacher, London, UK     

2008 -  2009 

Piano teacher at the “Hamelin” school in Alella, Barcelona     

Clarinet teacher at the “Skerzo” music school in Barcelona, Spain

1992 – 2009    

Private clarinet, piano and singing teacher in various cities in Germany and in Barcelona, Spain      

1997 - 2000

Clarinet teacher at the “Waldorfschule” Bexbach, Germany      

1997 - 2000     

Clarinet teacher at the “Music Association” Ensdorf, Germany      

1995 - 1998   

Clarinet and saxophone teacher at the municipal music school in Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany 

1995 - 1997   

Clarinet and saxophone teacher at the municipal music school in Trossingen, Germany    

1992 - 1995   

Clarinet and saxophone teacher at the municipal music school in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany                                                                           


1997 - 2000   

Studies of opera and solo singing with Prof. Raimund Gilvan-Cartwright at the University of Music Saarland (Hochschule für Musik Saar) in Saarbrücken, Germany

1996 -1998  

Classical singing lessons with Prof. Ulrike Sonntag, Stuttgart, Germany   

1991 – 1996    

Studies of clarinet with Prof. Waldemar Wandel (Consortium Classicum) at the University of Music in Trossingen (Hochschule für Musik Trossingen), Germany, Degree in 1996                  


Radio Recordings (Saarland Radio) at the program “Performances of students of the University of Saarland”    

Participation at a course of corporal expression and opera acting with Professor Claudio de Maglio, (Director of the  Academy of Dramatic Arts in Udine, Italy)     

University-entrance diploma with principal subjects Music and French, 1989     

First piano lessons at the age of 8, first clarinet lessons with Karl Singer at the age of 14, saxophone lessons with Klaus Kreczmarsky, 1986 – 1989, Master classes of clarinet with Prof Waldemar Wandel, Greece, 1994/1995, with Prof. Eduard Brunner, Switzerland, 1996