A pioneering figure in the world of contemporary jazz thanks to his fusion of pop, soul, electro, hip-hop, and French chansons with the music of his Lebanese roots, Ibrahim Maalouf is widely regarded as one of the most gifted trumpeters of his generation.
Born in Beirut in 1980 to a pianist mother and famous trumpeter father, Nassim, he fled to the suburbs of Paris with his family from a young age during the midst of the Lebanon civil war. Inspired by his parents' musical background, he began studying the trumpet and classical Arab music from the age of seven, and as a teen, often performed the works of Vivaldi, Purcell and Albinoni alongside his father across Europe and the Middle East. Following a well-received interpretation of Bach's 2nd Brandenburg Concerto, often considered one of the most difficult pieces in the classical trumpet repertoire, he was encouraged by French trumpeter Maurice Andre to abandon his proposed scientific career and become a professional musician instead. While studying for five years at the esteemed CNR and CNSM de Paris, he continued to develop his technical skills while participating in several European/international competitions, and playing on records by the likes of Matthieu Chedid, Arthur H, and Vincent Delerm. In 2006, he became a trumpet instructor at the CNR of Aubervilliers-La Courneuve and was regularly invited to present several master classes and recitals across the US. Inspired by Arab artists Oum Kalsoum and Fairuz, composers Mahler and Mozart and classic jazz musicians Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, he released his first studio album, Diasporas, through his own Mi'ster label in 2007, and followed it up with Diachronism in 2009, and Diagnostic in 2011. Maalouf was also the subject of Christophe Trahand's film, Souffle! (Blow), which documented his relationship with his homeland, was asked by Sting to appear on his 2009 album, If on a Winter's Night, and was a founding member of short-lived Oriental jazz outfit Farah. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi