Habib Benedikt Elias - Singer, Pianist, Composer, Clarinetist, Music Teacher


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. cooperation in the composition of the filmmusic for the award-winning cinema documentary "Rhythm is it" - which received several awards, composition of the film music for „Elements of mine“ (First prize at the Moving Pictures Festival in Toronto, 2004)).


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 original 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.





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


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


2004, 2005, 2006, 2007


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 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






Participation in the film music compositions, arrangements and productions of the following projects:

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)


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


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 2014


Singing teacher for jazz and popular music at the Jugendmusikschule Balingen

Teacher of a clarinet class at the Geschwister-Scholl Schule Tübingen, Musikschule Tübingen


Since 2012


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


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“


Since 2009


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


2008 - 2009


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

Teaching languages: english and spanish


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, studies of methodology with Rudolf Mauz, 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