Ibrahum Maalouf collaborates with the best on 17th album release

With 16 albums released, Ibrahim Maalouf went from prizewinner of the greatest international classical trumpet concours around the world to being the most popular jazzman of the French musical scene. Selling out the Volkswagen Arena in Istanbul, the Lincoln Jazz Center in New York City, as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington, he became, in 2016, the first jazzman in history to have sold out the largest concert venue in France, the AccorArena of Paris Bercy.

Scouted by living legend Quincy Jones, and described by the New York Times as a “virtuoso”, Ibrahim has worked over the years with Wynton Marsalis, Angélique Kidjo, Melody Gardot, the Chronos Quartet, Trilok Gurtu, Josh Groban, Marcus Miller, Salif Keita, and many more.

In 2021, he made an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert alongside Jon Batiste, who presented him as a living legend of jazz.

After he was invited by Sting to play alongside him at the reopening of the Bataclan, he then paid tribute to Tignous at his funeral - one of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists killed during the shooting. He also honoured the memory of all the victims of the terrorist attack of fall 2015, by taking part in a national tribute by composing a hymn sung by young artist Louane. The musician, film score composer, and multiple times award-winner (Victoires de la Musique, Césars, Lumières…) has become in a few years a compelling artist and a symbol for intercultural dialogue, to the point where he was chosen to perform the national anthem in front of 6 million viewers on July 14th, 2021, in front of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris.

Once again where you least expected him, with his 17th album, Ibrahim Maalouf promises to make an impression with brand new, surprising, and innovative popular music.

During the summer of 2006, on the occasion of his very first concert with his recently founded band, at the age of only 25 years old, Ibrahim gets on the stage of the legendary club at Montreux Jazz Festival, flimsily at 2 a.m. following incredible legends of American rap music, Wu-Tang Clan, who had given a mind-blowing performance. It’s a shock. Mesmerized by their rhythmic flow and their capacity to sample all these pieces of music, to make them their own, Ibrahim then realizes that one day, he will be taking a serious interest in this.

A few years later, with Oxmo Puccino, one of the most respected rappers of the French musical scene, he took the world by surprise and recorded an entire album around Alice in Wonderland.

If his path had made him meet with influential artists such as rap band Blackalicious from the West Coast, his lead Gift of Gab, or French producer DJ Mehdi, it is only recently that hip-hop has become an obvious choice for Ibrahim, after these two meaningful collabs.

His recent featuring with Styles P, a renowned figure of the underground New York rap scene, remained very little known. In addition, two of his songs have made the cut of American rapper and producer Swizzbeats best-of jazz compilation, including among others Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins. Both of these events have set the tone.

Ibrahim Maalouf’s 17th album is mostly an anthem for inclusivity, to a shared identity, in times when promoting difference has become divisive, and where most people tend to define themselves by an exclusive identity.

The guestlist for this album is as impressive as it is unexpected:

Erick The Architect, leader of the illustrious rap band from Brooklyn Flatbush Zombies, New Orleans latest sensation Tank and the Bangas, Cuban phenomenon Cimafunk, Sheléa Frazier one of the world’s most beautiful voices and Quincy Jones’ protégé, the young Alemeda recently signed by TDE label, famous for having Kendrick Lamar, D Smoke American rap new Mozart winner of « Rhythm + Flow » Netflix’s rap contest show (with Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, Snoop Dogg, T.I…), internationally renowned English singer JP Cooper, but also artists well-known in France such as Californian crooner Gregory Porter, mythic New Yorker hip-hop trio De La Soul, the French music star Matthieu Chédid, or French-Brazilian Flavia Coelho.

Ibrahim is writing a historic new chapter of his journey seeking and showcasing art through music, with elegance and authenticity, by developing an aspect of his work that no one could think of a few years back.

Co-produced with two young geniuses of music production, NuTone (France) and Henry Was (USA), this project is a colourful explosion. For the first time in his life, Ibrahim has agreed to share the production for this album.

Born in Lebanon under the bombs and raised in France, in a society more and more polarized by identity tensions, Ibrahim has not been spared despite his impeccable track record. To be exemplary as an artist, coming from both Occidental and Arabic cultures, did not stop him from being exposed to racism, injustice, lies, and traps from media frenzy imposed by a world increasingly suspicious and intolerant.

Ibrahim’s answer to adversity has always been: Art, creativity, education, empathy, innovation, collaborations, and great music embodying a strong message for inclusivity and reconciliation. Hip-hop music has historically been known as a voice for social issues, making it an obvious choice for many.

'Capacity To Love' is certainly the album that represents the most, his unrelenting and permanent resilience, which he has shown over the last 20 years, on a human and artistic level.

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