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Ibrahim Maalouf (Arabic: ابراهيم معلوف‎; born 5 December 1980) is a French-Lebanese jazz trumpeter and composer.

Ibrahim Maalouf
Ibrahim Maalouf - Festival du Bout du Monde 2014 - 005.jpg
Ibrahim Maalouf at Festival du Bout du Monde in 2014
Background information
Born (1980-12-05) 5 December 1980 (age 38)
Beirut, Lebanon
GenresJazz, classical
InstrumentsTrumpet, flugelhorn
Years active1997–present



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[1] 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[1] 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.[1]

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 passed an open competition at the CNR de Paris (regional Conservatory) and joined the class of Gérard Boulanger for a two-year training course. After that, he passed another open competition and joined the Conservatoire de Paris in Antoine Curé's class for a three-year training course. He obtained degrees from both of these schools and entered national, European, and international trumpet competitions. He wrote more than 15 pieces for different ensembles from small to symphonic orchestras and choirs that were commissioned since 2005.

Ibrahim Maalouf

From 2006 to 2013, Maalouf was a trumpet instructor at the CNR of Aubervilliers, La Courneuve in France,[2]

In 2000, Maalouf met producer Marc-Antoine Moreau, who introduced him to the cellist Vincent Segal. It was the beginning of a long and fruitful series of encounters. In November 2008, Maalouf played in the opera Welcome to the Voice at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris composed by Steve Nieve and directed by Muriel Teodori. Maalouf encountered on stage Elvis Costello, Sylvia Schwartz, and Sting, who played the lead role. Sting asked him to play on his album If on a Winter's Night...

Maalouf has composed music since he was very young. He presented his compositions for the first time in 1999. His first group Farah had a Oriental jazz flavor because he was accompanied by a saxophone, a ney (Middle-Eastern end-blown flute), a transverse flute, a piano, a double bass, a guitar, a buzuq (a long-necked fretted lute related to the Greek bouzouki) and Arabic percussion. A concert recording by this group was broadcast on several music channels between 2004 and 2005.

In 2004, his encounter with Lhasa de Sela opened the doors of electronic music to him. His collaboration with pop and rock singers made him discover other musical styles apart from jazz, classical, and Arabic music. His compositions began to reflect a more contemporary style. In 2006, he met Alejandra Norambuena Skira (from the SACEM's Action Fund), who introduced him to Jean-Louis Perrier. Perrier helped him to form the band with whom he gave a concert on February 12, 2006 at the Paris New Morning Jazz Club.

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.

Maalouf gets a lot of his inspiration from his culture of origin. This subject has been explored in the documentary Souffle! (Blow), directed by Christophe Trahand and produced by Cocottes Minutes between 2005 and 2006. Christophe Trahand followed Ibrahim for several months in pursuit of the key to his inspiration and to explore his relationship with his native country and the distance that separates him from it. This documentary was broadcast by TV5 MONDE and is available on DVD in the collection Docnet Films.

Awards and honorsEdit

Between 1999 and 2003, Maalouf earned awards in fifteen competitions throughout the world. These include first prize in the Hungarian International Trumpet Competition in Pilisvörösvár in May 2002,[3] first prize in the National Trumpet Competition (Washington D.C.) in 2001, and second prize (ex aequo) in the Maurice André International Competition in Paris in 2003. In July 2010, he was given the Instrumental Revelation of the Year at the French Jazz Music Awards (Victoires du Jazz). He won Best World Music Artist at the French Music Awards in 2014.


Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Peak positions Notes


2007 Diasporas
2009 Diachronism 97 173
2011 Diagnostic 84
2012 Wind 57 74 128 17
2013 Illusions 29 151 34 27 78
2014 Au pays d'Alice...
(joint album with Oxmo Puccino)
43 113
2015 Red & Black Light 8 188 33 41 68
Kalthoum 17 160 54 21 95
2017 Dalida 25
192 51 49
2018 Levantine Symphony N°1 113 84

Live albumsEdit

Year Album Peak positions


2016 10 ans de live! 10 137
Live Tracks 2006–2016 158 70


Year Single Peak positions Album
2014 "True Sorry" 57 Illusions
2015 "Red & Black Light" 101 Red & Black Light
2017 "J'attendrai"
(featuring Melody Gardot)
93 Dalida
"Paroles paroles"
(featuring -M- and Monica Bellucci)
"Love in Portofino"
(featuring Golshifteh Farahani)
"Laissez-moi danser"
(featuring Izïa)


Year Album Peak positions


2014 Yves Saint Laurent 78 147 125  –
2016 Dans Les Forets De Siberie  –  –  –  –


Year Album FR BEL
SUI Certification
2013 Funambule[11]
(Grand Corps Malade,
musical direction by Ibrahim Maalouf)
3 4 28

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c O'Brien, Jon. "Ibrahim Maalouf". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  2. ^ Conservatoire Regional staff listing
  3. ^ Maalouf takes 1st prize at the 2nd International Trumpet Competition and the (US) National Trumpet Competition Archived 2011-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d Ibrahim Maalouf page
  5. ^ a b Ibrahim Maalouf page
  6. ^ a b Ibrahim Maalouf page
  7. ^ Ibrahim Maalouf page Archived 2015-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Ibrahim Maalouf page
  9. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 47, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  10. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés – SNEP (Week 47, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  11. ^ Grand Corps Malade page Archived 2013-11-09 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit