FLAX Grant

Ibrahim Maalouf

Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz (TRK), the innovative performance space at Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, is pleased to present the prodigious Ibrahim Maalouf on Thursday, May 21, 2015 in Los Angeles. French-Lebanese trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf is a lyrical and refined musician, with influences ranging from Miles Davis to Led Zeppelin. As a little boy he 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, infusing jazz with Middle Eastern musicality. Ibrahim will be on stage with Frank Woeste (piano), Mark Turner (saxophone), Ira Coleman (basse) and Clarence Penn (drums). The TRK event is part of Ibrahim Maalouf’ 2015 North American tour, which also includes stops in Chicago (May 15th) and New-York (May 18th and May 25th). This concert is a tribute to Oum Kalthoum, who died four decades ago and is still widely regarded as the greatest Arabic singer in history.

Born in Beirut, Ibrahim Maalouf discovered trumpet with his father. 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 – the quarter-tone trumpet.

Ibrahim Maalouf has always been multicultural in his collaborations, all his featuring shows that the artist does not stop to one musical genre. Ibrahim has played with: Sting, Amadou et Mariam, Matthieu Chédid (M), Marcel Khalifé, Salif Keita… And yet despite the pleasure and rich artistic experience gained from working with these artists, Ibrahim hasn’t been sidetracked from his own priorities: composing and developing his work in a highly personal manner so that the extent of his gifts as an instrumentalist – and the diversity of his own influences – can express themselves to the full.

During the past year, he has played in exciting festivals in Europe, and beyond, including Celtic Connections Festival (Scotland), Paris Jazz Festival, the Tokyo Jazz Festival and many others. He has received several international awards and the diploma of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Maalouf also created his own label to produce his own albums as well as projects by other artists.


“To mark the 40th anniversary of the loss of Arabic diva Umm Kulthum (Oum Kalthoum), I had a strong desire to cover one of her most successful songs : “Alf Leila wa Leila” (One Thousand and One Nights), undoubtedly her greatest hit, is far more popular and richer in folklore.This piece is all-time classics that is celebrated across the Arab world, and yet it remains virtually unknown in the rest of the world. So this was an opportunity for me to present this symphonic masterpiece which celebrate the voice of the Arab world’s most popular singer. […]

Jazz, like classical Arabic music, is a powerful catalyst for folklore and tradition, with the added absolute freedom of improvisation. I am therefore very happy, three years on, to reunite this quintet in celebration of Umm Kulthum’s extraordinary voice ”

Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz (TRK) is a non-profit institution dedicated to the promotion of art and culture in the West Los Angeles area. This 220-seat theater welcomes multidisciplinary and multicultural shows. TRK’s mission is to be an open window on French and international cultures and to inspire and sustain a lifelong appreciation for the arts.

Additional information and ticket sales here.

Download the press release here.