Artist

Ibrahim Maalouf

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His father is trumpeter Nassim Maalouf and his mother is pianist Nada Maalouf. His uncle is the writer Amin Maalouf and his grandfather was the journalist, poet, and musicologist Rushdi Maalouf.

After leaving his home country as a child during the Lebanese Civil War, he grew up in Paris with his sister Layla. He studied there until the age of 17 and earned a degree in General Science and Specialized Mathematics from the Lycée Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire in Étampes (Essonne).

When he was seven years old, he started to learn how to play the trumpet from his father, a former student of French trumpeter Maurice André at the Conservatoire de Paris. He learned classical, baroque, modern, and contemporary repertoires, as well as classical Arabic music and improvisation. His father invented the microtonal trumpet or "quarter tone trumpet", which makes it possible to play Arabic maqams on the trumpet.

As a teenager Maalouf accompanied his father in a duo throughout Europe and the Middle East, playing a baroque repertoire by Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni, Henry Purcell, and Antonio Vivaldi. He performed a difficult classical piece, the Second Brandenburg Concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach. Maurice André advised him to give up science and pursue music instead. He took Andre's advice and spent five years at the Conservatoire de Paris. He recorded with Matthieu Chedid, Vincent Delerm, and Arthur H. He became a teacher at CNR d'Aubervilliers-La Courneuve and gave master classes in the U.S. His first solo album was Diasporas (2007) on his label.

He has composed several movie soundtracks and several pieces for choirs and symphonic orchestras. He has worked with Sting, Salif Keita, Amadou & Mariam, Lhasa de Sela, Marcel Khalife, Vanessa Paradis, Juliette Greco, and Archie Shepp. He teaches improvisation at Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris (Paris Regional Superieur Conservatory).

Maalouf gets a lot of his inspiration from his culture of origin. His music and his trumpet playing are inspired by his Arabic culture, but the instruments around him (bass, electric guitar, drums, Arabic percussion, vibraphone) and the musicians with whom he performs give a rock, electronic, and jazz funk flavor to his music.
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