Early life and education
Assad was born in São João da Boa Vista in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, but lived in Rio de Janeiro until she was twelve. Her father, Jorge Assad, of Lebanese descent, plays bandolim (mandolin), and her two older brothers are classical guitarists Sérgio Assad and Odair Assad of Duo Assad.
Assad studied classical guitar at the University of Rio de Janeiro and won the Young Instrumentalists Contest (“Concurso Jovens Instrumentistas for Young Musicians”) in Rio de Janeiro in 1984. In 1986, she joined the Guitar Orchestra of Rio de Janeiro, headed by guitar player Turíbio Santos as conductor. In 1987, she was named “Best Brazilian Guitarist of the International Villa Lobos Festival.” By 1987 she had played in Europe, Israel and Brazil with guitarist Françoise-Emmanuelle Denis under the name Duo Romantique. In 1988 she wrote Antagonismus, a solo performance in which she worked as guitarist, singer, actress and dancer. She released her first solo album, Dança dos Tons, in 1988. In 1989 she was selected out of two hundred women to perform as one of two vocalists in the play Mulheres de Hollanda, a musical written by Tatiana Cobbett, based on the works of Chico Buarque de Holanda. Assad has also been featured in the Heineken Concerts in 1992 with Raul de Souza, Heraldo do Monte and Roberto Sion, and in 1993 with Rafael Rabello, Dori Caymmi and Marisa Monte. In 1994, she became associated with Chesky Records and produced the album Solo, followed in 1995 with Rhythms, which won Guitar Player Magazine’s readers’ poll for "Best Classical Album of the Year". Assad, who sings in English and Portuguese, was voted Best Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist by the editors of Guitar Player in 1995.
Due to a motor disability she was unable to play between 1998 and 2001, but made a complete recovery and released a collaborative album with her former husband Jeff Young in 2002 called Nowhere, and 3 Guitars the following year for Chesky. Her song Waves was in Spain’s top 10, and was included in the soundtrack of the 2003 film It Runs in the Family, starring Michael Douglas and Kirk Douglas. She has played and recorded with many notable artists of diverse instrumentation, including percussionist Cyro Baptista, guitarists Pat Metheny, Larry Coryell, and John Abercrombie, and didgeridoo artist Stephen Kent (on the album Chameleon).
- 1988: Antagonismus a solo performance written by Badi Assad in which she worked as guitarist, singer, actress and dancer
- Mulheres de Hollanda [Women of Hollanda] - a musical written by Tatiana Cobbett, based on the works of Chico Buarque de Holanda.
- 1992: Heineken Concert (with Raul de Souza, Heraldo do Monte and Roberto Sion)
- 1993: Heineken Concert (with Rafael Rabello, Dori Caymmi and Marisa Monte)
- Danca do Tons (Dance of Sounds) (Crescente Produções) (1989)
- Solo (Chesky Records) (1994)
- Rhythms (Guitar Player's "Best Classical Album of the Year") (Chesky Records) (1996)
- Juarez Moreira & Badi Assad (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) (1995)
- Echos of Brazil (Chesky Records) (1997)
- Chameleon (Polygram Records) (1998)
- Three Guitars (Chesky Records) (2003)
- Ondas (2004)
- Danca das Ondas (Gha) (2003)
- Verde (Edge Music/Deutsche Grammophon) (2004)
- Wonderland (Edge Music/Deutsche Grammophon) (2006)
- Amor e Outras Manias Crônicas (YB Music) (2012)
- 2011 Badi Assad (Biscoito Fino) DVD
- Artist Direct Website
- Renaissance Woman Badi Assad by Márlon Catão (1996) in Bossa: Brazilian Jazz World Guide 
- Music.aol.com Website
- ‘’Renaissance Woman Badi Assad’’ by Márlon Catão (1996) in Bossa: Brazilian Jazz World Guide 
- Badi Assad: One of a Kind by Tony Ananias (May 11, 2012) in Jazz Times, 
- Album Information: Chameleon on Music Releases Website