Ibrahim Maalouf

Ibrahim Maalouf

 Paris, Île-de-France, FRA

The main influence of Ibrahim Maalouf is in the depth of arabian music : improvisation. Reuniting blues, arabian, jazz and electro musicians, Ibrahim Maalouf intend to reinvest in his own way the creation of his father : the quarter-ton trumpet which is the expression of an age-old culture.


In 1980, with the majestic columns of the temples of Baal beck suffering from the relentless bombings of a civil war that had been going on for many years, the entire world was wondering how it was possible for such wonders to be destroyed by the very hands of those who had erected them.
It was not the best time to come into the world in Lebanon, and as soon as he was born, Ibrahim Maalouf was uprooted from his motherland.

He kept the music of his childhood buried inside for many years, and later this homesickness helped him to develop his musical world, urging him to share it and introduce it to other people.
Ibrahim grew up and lived his exile in France in a family that had become well-known after several generations in different fields such as music, painting, journalism, poetry, literature and teaching.

Ibrahim discovered trumpet with his father Nassim Maalouf - a former student of Maurice André and the first Arabic trumpeter to play Western classical music. He studied modern, classical, baroque and contemporary concertos, and at the same time was surrounded by Arabic classical, ethnic and traditional music. All those types of music were based on makams (Arabic modes) and Ibrahim could reproduce them thanks to his father’s invention in the late sixties – the quarter-tone trumpet (with a fourth valve).
The monotonous and insistent music that comes out of this particular trumpet is the expression of an age-old culture. Nobody before his father had thought of paying tribute to it by adapting the Arabic musical language to the trumpet.

Ibrahim as a boy used to dream of becoming an architect in order to rebuild Lebanon. Instead he built his life around that rich and mixed heritage which he can communicate through his music. Ibrahim has received numerous prestigious diplomas, honorary awards and international prizes. It is impossible to classify him in a single genre since he finds as much interest in classical music as he does in jazz, light music, ethnic music, or even in modern electronic music.

Ibrahim doesn’t relate to one specific genre, but integrates several into his own music.
The extremely talented musicians and singers with whom he collaborates allow him to express himself freely, but Ibrahim is now looking for something more personal.

Ibrahim’s meeting with Vincent Ségal, and then with Lhasa de Sela, was seminal in the conception and development of this first album. Ibrahim lives in a world that looks like his own career as a musical wanderer. He doesn’t like to pigeonhole nor to create a hierarchy between the numerous musical influences that inspired him and listens likewise to Oum Kalsoum and Fairuz; or Bach, Mahler and Mozart; or Dizzie Gillespie, Miles Davis, pop music, hip hop, electronic and alternative music, French popular songs, and contemporary classical music.

Ibrahim thought of this album as a place where Eastern hues naturally mingle with the Western urban sounds in which they were created.
It is a musical mix that is both open to the modern world and profoundly respectful of age-old traditions. It is the acoustic rendition of a world in movement, a world that displaces peoples among cries – sometimes of pain and sometimes of joy – but always creates new encounters that transform human beings and give them the urge to explore new possible paths.

Like many other young musicians, Ibrahim is not only fond of music, but also of any form of art likely to nourish his imaginative universe.
It is then very easy to become part of Ibrahim’s diaspora since it encompasses every other kind of diasporas – you just need to push the door of his world open.


Album 1 : DIASPORAS Mis’ter Productions/Discographer (French release : 15 oct 2007)
Recorded in Montreal, Paris and Beirut it’s a mix of all influences distributed in the Middle East and Arabic countries by EMI Arabia.

French distribution Discograph
Belgium distribution Bang
Arabian distribution Emi

Album 2 : DIACHRONISM Mi'ster Productions (French release : 27 oct 2009)
Distributed by Discograph

Set List

Set of 90 minutes

NAGA 5.56
YA HA LA 6’15
Trumpet/saz improvisation 7’20
Hyu Man 6’29
MAKE CE 5’58
Trumpet Piano Improvisation 3’37
Samboussek 12’
Express 8’
Busy 10’
Funky 7’